Case Study

RiconnettiMI: Ecological connection among the municipalities of Milan, Cormano and Novate Milanese

Contact name

Arch. Davide Papa

Institution name

Parco Nord Milano Administration

Region & country

Lombardia - Italy


This project is a first step for the future realization of the green infrastructure among Parco Nord Milano, the Balossa area and the green areas located to the west of the Park borders. The project intends to be a participatory design model in which the know-how of technicians meet the wishes of the people who are trained and informed that their instances should be aware and realizable.

Project concept

Photo by: Parco Nord Milano

Ecological link between parks

Photo by: Parco Nord Milano

Background of the project

The involved area was a territory whose naturalistic features were heavily compromised by uncontrolled urbanization. The territory was heavily inflicted from an ecological connections point of view and it was important to recover it by exploiting free or awaiting identification zone using hedges, fields, and meadows to allow fauna (especially birdlife) to move into the urbanized area.

In order to start the process of unification between the two part of Park and the green areas, a feasibility study was needed to identify municipal technical data to the citizen’s associations, the exact typology, and location of the functional interventions to create large-scale ecological connections.

Solution and actions taken

In order to conduct an accurate and exhaustive study, it was decided to form a multidisciplinary team in terms of competencies. The objective of the study was to determine the structural defragmentation and the environmental improvement through the reconstruction of habitats with a strong awareness of the citizens about the environmental and natural values of free areas and the possibilities of their use to build green infrastructures.

Once the team was formed, we tested directly on the fields the ecological connection level between the two green zones. A census was made of the species present in the free areas and, on the urban plan, of the volumetric rights present in these areas. At last a “Bioblitz” was organized with the cooperation of citizens well aware of the naturalistic value of apparently abandoned areas.

Other institutions or parties involved

The external partners involved in the project are:

  • Municipality of Novate Milanese;
  • ONLUS Il Giardino degli Aromi;
  • Municipality of Milan, both green and urban offices;
  • Balossa PLIS;
  • Other specialists, such as naturalists and landscape architects.


No action has been made in the area, awaiting financing. The project, however, has improved citizens’ expectations by direct them to the green infrastructure rather than the urban area.


  1. Be able to connect the green areas considering the particular location;
  2. Win the citizens’ distrust towards the institution;
  3. Project effective ecological interventions in a densely urbanized area.

Lessons learned

Getting into the urban realities. It is not so easy to explain to a citizen the importance of an ecological connection of the parks. Being successful, thanks also to external partners, to carry out this project starting from the bottom is surely the most important aspect.

Contact name

Arch. Davide Papa

Institution name

Parco Nord Milano Administration


Submit case study