• Nature4Cities

MILAN — The metropolitan city will rely on Nature Based Solutions to rehabilitate its quarries

Milan is one of the 4 pilot cities of the Nature4Cities Project, together with Alcala de Henares, Ankara and Szeged.

Participating cities are located in 4 different countries and different climate zones (mediterranean, continental, semi-arid and oceanic), allowing to test the replicability of our tools in several geographical contexts.





The Metropolitan City of Milan is situated in the North of Italy, in the heart of Europe. It has a population of nearly 3 million inhabitants, distributed over an area of 1.575 square kilometres. The metropolitan area includes the city of Milan and other 133 municipalities and it is widely considered to be the driver of the regional, and even national, economy. The metropolitan area of Milan is Italy’s main economic and industrial crossroads, providing a host of excellent opportunities but also setting some of the major challenges typical of global urban areas.


Conflicts with citizens and environmental issues around quarries : key challenges for the metropolitan area


In the past and also in the short future this area is invested by great works: construction of new transport routes, new neighbourhoods and the transformation of abandoned areas into new spaces and new opportunities for the city. All this work in addition to change the face of the area brings with it a lot of challenges for the metropolitan area: the need for construction material, but also the coexistence on the territory of quarries and urban areas.

There are now on the territory of the metropolitan city of Milan 41 quarries. All this quarries-area have to be managed to reduce conflicts with citizens and to reduce their environmental impacts. Nature4cities’ platform will be an important and strategic tool for policy maker and city planners to involve the community in a participative process to co-create suitable Nature Based Solutions (NBS) that may be used for Milan’s quarries.





Reduce the visual and acoustic impact of the quarry, their dust emissions into the atmosphere, increase biodiversity, give back to the community a space for agricultural use, for leisure and socialization after having extracted natural resources from the land: these are all answers that can be obtained through the renaturalization of the quarries with NBS.


4 quarries as pilot sites for the N4C project


The Metropolitan City of Milan chooses for the project 4 different quarries as pilot areas. These quarries are dislocated in different areas of the territory with different economic, social and environmental context to give to the project the opportunity to study one topic (the quarry) in all its facet and dimensions. There are quarries, whose process of environment recovery is nearly finished and that are excellent example of renaturalization and some that are in a starting phase.



Cave Merlini


Furthermore, the metropolitan City of Milan intends to use the indications and guidelines for NBS coming from Nature4Cities, to implement its new “Quarry Plan”. This a territorial planning tool that will govern the major transformations in urban and suburban areas also through re-naturalization processes. The Quarry Plan defines the location of quarries, the extraction volumes, the environmental recovery mode and the final fruition of the area.


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Copyright © 2017 by Nature4Cities

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 730468