Milan, Italy

Population: 1.5 Million

Milan is located in the north of Italy, between the River Po to the south and the Alps and the great lakes in the north. It is the administrative and commercial centre of the largest Italian metropolitan area, and the main city of Lombardy, the richest and most populated Italian region.

Vision and Mission

The vision for CLEVER Cities Milan is a city that finds innovative solutions in nature to regenerate, face climate change and build its future together with its citizens.


By implementing innovative and natural interventions in Milan’s neighbourhoods, buildings and infrastructure, the mission is for CLEVER Cities in Milan to demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of nature-based solutions, and become the voice for promoting them throughout the city.

Plans for the CLEVER Action Labs

CLEVER Cities Milan is starting by experimenting with green infrastructure and innovative nature-based solutions in the southern part of Milan, and intends to spread them throughout the city. Plans for three CLEVER Action Labs are currently being developed in Milan.

Exploring Green Innovations: Study Visit of Larissa Representatives to Milan

20 July 2023

For the Second CLEVER Study Visit, representatives from the CLEVER fellow city of Larissa embarked on a study visit to Milan. The objective of the visit was to gain insights and knowledge from Milan's successful implementation of CLEVER projects. With a focus on green roofs, co-housing, urban parks, and living walls, the representatives explored the challenges faced and benefits derived from a co-design approach.


This meeting provided a valuable platform for Larissa and Milan to engage in discussions surrounding the common challenges they face in implementing Nature-based solutions within their planning instruments. By sharing their challenges, Larissa and Milan found common ground and identified areas where collaboration and knowledge exchange could play a pivotal role in overcoming obstacles when implementing nature-based solutions.


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Development of public green areas

A new park for Giambellino 129

By working together with citizens and experimenting with new forms of co-creation, the team is planning to create a new public park within the Giambellino neighbourhood of Milan. Plans are to include nature-based solutions such as a green buffer area near the railway, a water management and monitoring system and user-friendly sensors that encourage use by citizens. The aim is to encourage shared management and use of spaces, by introducing equipment and vegetation that encourage community involvement.

Be part of CLEVER Cities in Milan

Exploring CLEVER Green Roofs and Walls: Training Course by CLEVER Cities in Milan.

6 July 2023

CLEVER Cities has been making waves in Milan, with its innovative approach to urban sustainability. Building upon the success of the inaugural training course held in October 2019, Ambiente Italia, responsible for CLEVER Action Lab for green roofs and walls, recently organized another comprehensive training course in Milan. This time the course aimed to showcase the impressive projects implemented as part of CLEVER Milano, focusing on different aspects, including planning, implementation, and further development in the policy arena. The training course was designed primarily for Green Roofs and Walls enthusiasts (architects, urban designers, agronomists, engineers, and technical experts):


First Lesson - Urban Regulations, Policies, and Opportunities in Milan.


Second Lesson - Co-Creation of Green Roofs and Walls,  the CLEVER Cities approach.


Third Lesson - The Outdoor Living Wall of ‘Municipal Public Transport Company of Milan’.


By covering key topics such as urban regulations, the co-creation approach, and specific project details, the course equipped attendees with a comprehensive understanding of the sustainable transformation taking place in Milan. As CLEVER Cities continues to make strides in urban sustainability, the training course played a pivotal role in disseminating knowledge and fostering collaboration among stakeholders, ultimately contributing to a greener and more resilient Milan.


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A new green hub for Tibaldi station

CLEVER Cities Milan is planning to re-design the railway station through green and innovative elements, which will make the infrastructure not only responsive to the needs of mobility, but also fully harmonized with its urban environment. The innovative elements will include green walls, natural elements on embankments, noise barriers in the structures and embankments of the station, controlled irrigation, temperature and humidity, and external green spaces such as waiting areas.


Partners in Milan

Comune di Milano
Fondazione Politecnico di Milano
Ambiente Italia
WWF Italia
Rete Ferroviaria Italiana
Società Cooperativa Sociale Eliante Onlus

Latest news from Milan

Does Giambellino have a green thumb? Investigation of the neighborhood’s relationship with Nature

28 April 2022

CLEVER Cities Milano is taking steps to create urban green spaces that fit the needs and priorities of the city’s inhabitants. This is no small endeavor and requires a nuanced understanding of exactly what these needs and priorities are. To get the ball rolling, CLEVER Cities Milano distributed an online survey to residents of the Giambellino-Lorenteggio district in spring of 2021.


Residents were asked questions designed to provide insight into locals’ relationships with urban nature and biodiversity. Over the course of 2 months, 167 people completed the survey. The results clearly illuminate local hopes and fears for urban greenery and will help guide CLEVER Cities Milano as the team continues to invest in co-created nature-based solutions (NBS).


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How can green roofs be economically sustainable? The example of Milan's social housing complex in Via Russoli

8 February 2022

In Via Russoli, between the historic centre and the suburbs of Milan, there are four buildings, built in the eighties, owned by housing association ALER - Azienda Lombarda Edilizia Resenziale Milano. A decade ago, it was discovered that the insulation panels on the facade contained asbestos and thus had to be removed. Once removed, the panels were not replaced, causing thermal discomfort inside the building- an unsustainable situation for the residents, also from an economic and environmental point of view.


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CLEVER Cities contest awards most remarkable green roofs and walls in Milan

19 January 2022

A new public contest will award the best green roofs and walls in the City of Milan, Italy, by covering their maintenance costs throughout 2022. The competition "Rewarding your green spaces" will recognise a total of four green roofs and walls in the city, three chosen by public vote and one by a technical jury.


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New study on citizen engagement for urban biodiversity in Milan

13 January 2022

A new study published in the online magazine Reticula analyses the experiences of CLEVER Front-Runner City Milan with co-creation processes to enhance urban biodiversity. The article "Citizen engagement for urban biodiversity through NBS: the CLEVER Cities experience" highlights how citizens in Milan will be engaged in monitoring the presence of birds and butterflies around the city's CLEVER Action Labs, namely, green walls, roofs and other green areas in the city.


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CLEVER Cities' journey of urban biodiversity discovery comes to life with new cartoon and DIY pollinator guide

27 September 2021

Nature in cities takes many forms and brings many benefits, not only in aesthetic value but also in its potential to strengthen ecological systems. Furthermore, for many people, feeling in touch with nature is synonymous with well-being and quality of life. That is why designing Nature-Based Solutions that enhance urban biodiversity positively impacts not only the environment, but also people's lives.


To draw attention to the importance of urban biodiversity, CLEVER Cities Milan partner Eliante launched a new cartoon and DIY pollinator guide including flower seeds and tips to attract pollinators.


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Annual CLEVER Assembly in Milan brings project's long-term sustainability into focus

27 September 2021

As CLEVER Cities enters its implementation phase, with nature-based solutions starting to pop up across the project’s Front-Runner cities, consortium partners met in Milan, Italy, from 22-24 September for the second part of the Annual CLEVER Assembly (ACA), which discussed strategies for the project’s long-term sustainability.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s ACA was split into two parts: a virtual meeting held in April to take stock of the project’s initial three years, and the hybrid meeting held this Autumn in Milan, taking a look ahead at the two last years of CLEVER.


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Milan's co-design pathway to spread green roofs and walls throughout the city

7 June 2021

To keep heatwaves at bay and bring nature into the everyday lives of residents, the CLEVER Cities Milan team is advancing its plan to spread green roofs and walls throughout the city, while applying innovative business, finance and governance models to engage private actors in their design and implementation.


Milan puts a strong emphasis on a collaborative approach with residents, the private sector and professional associations, which enabled the project team to target both public and private buildings for the installation of the new green roofs and walls.


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CLEVER Cities Milan presents NBS best practices at Italian Senate hearing

1 November 2020

On the 21st of October, the CLEVER Cities team in Milan was honoured to participate in a hearing of the Italian Senate to inform the discussion of a bill on urban regeneration (Legislative decree no. 1131).


CLEVER Cities partners Politecnico di Milano and the Municipality of Milan presented the project's nature-based interventions as best practice examples for inspiring further urban regeneration measures as well as the role that inclusion and co-creation play in the "green regeneration" promoted by the project through the use of nature-based solutions.


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CLEVER Cities at Milano Green Week

4 November 2019

The second edition of the Milan Green Week, an event promoted by the Municipality of Milan and dedicated to greening the city, was held from 26 to 29 September 2019. CLEVER Cities Milan participated in the Green Week with a series of events including a day dedicated to nature-based solutions in Milan and a day of guided tours to discover the green roofs and walls of Milan.


The event "Nature-based solutions in the city: in courtyards, on roofs and on walls" was held in the Sala delle Colonne, at the Fabbrica del Vapore on September 27th and was an opportunity to discover the work be carried out in Milan in support of nature-based solutions.

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Milan’s architects visit the city’s green roofs and walls

30 July 2019

Green Roof

During this summer’s intense heatwaves, city dwellers have been instinctively escaping the concrete and traffic in favour of cooler rivers and parks. The heat reminds us of our vulnerability in the face of climate change, but instincts remind us of a natural alternative: to bring more nature back into our cities. And potential space for nature does not stop on the ground.


This is the thinking behind the CLEVER Cities Milan campaign, which aims to spread green roofs and walls throughout Milan and beyond. On 14 June 2019 CLEVER Cities partner Ambiente Italia and Roofmatters organised, in collaboration with the Order of Architects of Milan, a public a tour of Milan’s green roofs and walls, aimed at professionals such as architects, engineers and landscape designers.

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Top marks for green cities

22 February 2019


How the CLEVER Cities team can tell whether our nature-based interventions are working


It is common knowledge that living near nature makes you healthier and happier. But is it possible to actually measure this? How can decision-makers make the case for investing in nature-based interventions?


The CLEVER Cities project team is working on coming up with a way to do exactly that through a combination of hard science, citizen science and flexibility. The CLEVER Monitor is designed to be robust enough to provide concrete data on the performance of the nature-based solutions, and is also adaptable enough to account for our learning over time and the differences between cities.

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Co-creation - the CLEVER Cities way

14 February 2019

London Launch

Between October and December 2018 the three front-runner cities of Hamburg, London and Milan took the first steps towards co-creating their CLEVER Cities Action Labs - the specific areas of these cities targeted for green regeneration within the CLEVER Cities project.


Inclusive urban development
But what does co-creation really mean? For the CLEVER Cities project it’s about opening local urban development to non-governmental organisations, foundations, civil society, research institutions and local citizens and businesses, ensuring all jointly design, implement, monitor and ultimately own the project.

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