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Milan’s Green Belt

I recently read an interesting article in Epolis Milano, one of Milan’s many freebie newspapers, and also one of the better ones, I might add.

This article was about the bods at City Hall who have dreamed up a scheme to cut down the smog levels under which Milan is drowning, despite the recent introduction of the Ecopass car charging system.

Now, you might think that the best way to cut down the pollution levels would be to simply ban all cars from the centre. Although this would be wonderful, it would, understandably, cause quite a few problems, and would not go down at all well with the car dependant Italians who inhabit this bustling city.

So, what can done? Well, apparently greenery and trees act as an effective filter and can help absorb many of the pollutants that are causing one person every 36 hours to head for hospital to have respiratory problems sorted out. So, some 500,000 trees are going to be planted.

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Does this mean that Milan will become a forest? Possibly, I suppose. And , in addition to all the trees, the people at the top are planning to increase the proportion of green areas per head of the population to 19 square metres.

Whether these novel solutions will have any effect on reducing the still spiralling pollution levels remains to be seen, but a positive side-effect of the ‘forestation’ of the city will be the creation of a series of ‘green roads’ which will link each of the city’s larger park areas. This sounds very interesting, and, from looking at the illustrative photo in the newspaper, means that it may be possible to literally walk all the way round the city centre using these interconnected green ways.
It would also be nice if they installed cycle ways on the park-links too.

The deadline for this gush of greenery is 2015, which also just happens to be the year in which the Expo will be held in Milan.

Walking tours of Milan, anyone?

I hope this proposal does come to fruition, and actually works.  It sounds like a jolly good pollution solution, if you ask me.

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