Milano. Metabolismo urbano nella città ordinaria

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] Milan. Urban metabolism in the ordinary city

Stefano Pareglio, Piergiorgio Vitillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


[Autom. eng. transl.] The entry into force of the new Territorial Government Plan (PGG) of Milan is an opportunity to reflect on the "ordinary city", understood as the sum of urban fabrics consolidated over time, for events and with very different outcomes. A physical and economic heritage, object of continuous and widespread transformations - almost an "urban metabolism" - which constitutes an infrastructure destined to condition, in the years to come, the Milanese community. In the paper, the ordinary city is read according to three distinct profiles, which are then the main issues open today: the extensive transformations of the recent (and less recent) past; the relationship between urban planning and construction and ordinary care of the city; the prospect of a possible urban regeneration. For the objective significance of the Milanese case, often able to anticipate or reinforce innovative traits of urban transformation processes, more general reflections can be derived from these three profiles, in terms of both contradictions and opportunities. The three questions dealt with are the result of a selection of part, which starts from an assumption that is not at all obvious: the need to pay more attention to places, to their physical and functional reality, after several years of homologation and exhibition that have generated a culprit neglect. Studies and the urban project have lost the capacity for effective feedback, conditioned more by the analysis of public policies, by cultural debate, even by media evidence and far less by the needs of places, in their irrepressible reality. Thus, atlases, descriptions and repertoires indifferent to contexts have been produced, with readings as minute as they are useless or as general as banal. More functional rhetoric has been adopted than discussion or action. Theories have been imported without worrying about their applicability. The paper proposes to return to the comparison with reality, with probability, even with heuristics, turning the criticism (even substantial) directly to the outcomes sought, rather than the assumptions of government action. It proposes, that is, to act on real facts, even if they are not welcome, bringing us closer to the parts of the city on which we operate and to the relations that they underlie: by adopting a healthy critical realism it is possible to analyze the essential questions that the places submit to us, which may be of construction and management, of technical knowledge and relational sensitivity, of physical and social project, verification and evaluation over time.
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] Milan. Urban metabolism in the ordinary city
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)65-73
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • milano
  • trasformazione urbana


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