The four GIS-based maps show the density of Milan’s population, urban services, public transport and tree cover.
The population density map shows a phenomenon of interest for all the local administrations concerned: Milan no longer coincides with its historic centre but is a much wider and ecologically differentiated area.
To the north, Milan is visibly intensely populated. Urbanisation is historically linked to the area’s characteristics, with major water-related infrastructure and favourable microclimate determined by its position immediately south of the foothills of the Alps. Add to this an extensive road network, and the widespread industrial and urban development of “North Milan” over the last fifty years becomes fully understandable.
In contrast, the territory south of the city lies in the lowlands of the Po valley plain. A more complex landscape - humid, clayey soil, subject to flooding - it is more difficult to urbanize and for that reason has largely maintained its traditional agricultural character. As a result, the population density map is very different in this “South Milan” region.
The population-density map also shows that the inner city of Milan is divided into two distinct areas: the “hyper centre” or historic core with a low-density residential population, and the densely residential “urban belt” located immediately beyond the old city walls. To the north, this urban belt frays out to become Milan’s urban sprawl, while it comes to an abrupt halt south of the city when it reaches the South Park.
The very low residential density of the historic core nonetheless enjoys an extraordinary density of services and the best public transport provision, as seen by the other two maps. These characteristics show the city’s enduring single centre focus, a characteristic that is illsuited to today’s structural requirements.
The public transport map...
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