Milan announces ambitious plan to reduce car usage after lockdown

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Apr 21, 2020, 04.20 PM(IST)

Lombardy, Italy Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Under the nationwide lockdown, motor traffic congestion has dropped by 30-75%, along with air pollution. 

As Italy gears up to restart its economic activities after the coronavirus crisis which claimed more than 24,000 lives, Milan is all set to introduce one of Europe’s most ambitious schemes reallocating street space from cars to cycling and walking.

The new measure comes in response to coronavirus crisis

Under the nationwide lockdown, motor traffic congestion has dropped by 30-75%, along with air pollution. 

 City officials hope to fend off a resurgence in car use as residents return to work looking to avoid busy public transport.

The city has announced that 35km (22 miles) of streets will be transformed over the summer, with a rapid, experimental citywide expansion of cycling and walking space to protect residents as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, according to a report in The Guardian. 

Marco Granelli, a deputy mayor of Milan, said: “We worked for years to reduce car use. If everybody drives a car, there is no space for people, there is no space to move, there is no space for commercial activities outside the shops.

“Of course, we want to reopen the economy, but we think we should do it on a different basis from before.

“We think we have to reimagine Milan in the new situation. We have to get ready; that’s why it’s so important to defend even a part of the economy, to support bars, artisans and restaurants. When it is over, the cities that still have this kind of economy will have an advantage, and Milan wants to be in that category.”

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