Green Rays, Milan

Italy

The Green Rays (Raggi Verdi) are an innovative urban regeneration strategy. By connecting the centre and the periphery through a system of green areas and soft mobility, the Green Rays increase urban permeability by fostering social cohesion and restoring the cityscape.

The Green Rays (Raggi Verdi) are an innovative urban regeneration strategy. By connecting the centre and the periphery through a system of green areas and soft mobility, the Green Rays increase urban permeability by fostering social cohesion and restoring the cityscape.

The Green Rays project is a pioneering endeavour that defines and promotes a new concept of slow mobility in Milan’s urban areas. Like green arteries, each of the eight green rays originates from a different area in town, extending from the inner city to the city’s edge, where they converge into a circular green ring. This innovative design envisions a possible bicycle and walking path with a total length of 72 km, connecting existing and new parks, including industrial areas reconverted by LAND, such as: Bicocca, Ex-Maserati, Ex Alfa Romeo, Ex area OM.

LAND’s Green Rays project has a history of more than 20 years. It began in 2003 when the Association Interessi Metropolitani (AIM) promoted a series of initiatives to develop a “green model” for Milan: wide-ranging proposals on an interdisciplinary basis that could ask questions about the role of nature in urban spaces and translate them into practical and viable projects. We fully understood the need to think from a global perspective, capable of reconciling the very structure of Milan’s urban development with the need to connect the different areas of the city; it, therefore, proposed an overall vision with an approach that is undoubtedly architectural but can also be defined as artistic and synthetic.

The result is a real network of routes that ideally originate from the geographical-symbolic centre of the Milanese metropolis (the octagon of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, next to Piazza Duomo) to reach the parks of the urban belt through connections involving green areas.

 

The Green Rays project is not just a network of routes, but a testament to a strong vision. It envisions a metropolis as a vibrant, permeable system, necessitating dynamic flows within itself. This vision rejects the notion of relegating natural spaces to mere accessories, instead, it embraces them as integral parts of master plans and future planning. This commitment to integrating nature into urban development is a beacon of hope for a more sustainable and livable city.

The project comprises eight Green Rays, ranging from 6.2 to 12.9 km. Rays 1 and 1bis run towards the Bicocca district and along the Martesana; Ray 2 from the east towards Parco Forlanini; Ray 3 towards Milano Santa Giulia (a recently built residential neighbourhood in the south-east); Ray 4 from the south towards Chiaravalle Abbey; Ray 5 along the Navigli (on the two main Navigli: the Grande and Pavese); Ray 6 in the west towards Parco delle Cave; Rays 7 and 7bis of the Fiera towards Trenno Park and Bosco in Città; Ray 8 towards Parco Nord.

The Green Rays master plan proposes an innovative strategy for Milan’s open space system: the densely built-up part of the city has already taken on a different form, designed to accommodate green areas and public squares. The work continues with implementing a pedestrian and bicycle paths network to integrate existing and new open spaces. Starting from the Spanish walls, the eight green rays radiating from the city centre will extend throughout the urban area and culminate in a 72 km long so-called “Urban Green Belt” on the outskirts of Milan, connecting all of them.

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