MILAN: moving around the city in a sustainable way

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The air we breathe every day, as soon as we leave the house, is polluted.

This is the incontrovertible fact that emerges from the dozens of studies and news that in recent years we are used to reading and hearing. Every year, every six months, accredited associations and institutes such as Legambiente and Ispra inform us about the increase in the intensity of fine dust, setting off alarm bells.

According to the World Health Organization, 92% of the population lives in places where the air quality is beyond safe limits for health.

The issue is therefore not a simple subject on which to let the municipalities, regions and political discuss, but a crucial point, on which each of us should reflect, to reverse a dangerously harmful trend.

Milan is, in common thought, one of the most polluted cities in Europe, but what is surprising is that in recent years it has always reached the top of the ranking of the greenest cities in Italy. It might seem a paradox, but, in reality, the numbers do not lie, and they highlight the city’s commitment to reduce, through sustainable mobility, the appalling data on the health of the air.

Although smog and harmful gases are not emitted only by cars, but also and above all by the dense network of industries in the Lombardy region, reducing traffic is one of the most effective methods to make the metropolitan area more liveable.

The city, and we with it, must re-invent itself, putting in place a real Urban Revolution, following the trend of the richest and most important European capitals, for which green mobility is a primary goal.

The initiatives concerning the reorganization of the Milanese travel network have multiplied in the last decade, bringing excellent results: from a statistic of the Observatory on driving habits in Lombardy it emerges, for example, that Milan is the city where cars are used less in Italy.

The figure is due to the difficulty of finding parking, to the various limited traffic areas set up by the Municipality (Area B and C) that discourage automobilistics, but, above all, to the numerous alternatives that the city offers to get around.

In practice, in 2019, the Urban Plan for Sustainable Mobility (Pums) was approved by the City Council of Milan, a document that guides the mobility strategies in the metropolitan city of Milan for the next ten years, whose goal is to achieve to a network, both public and private, which respects the environment, reduces consumption and does not produce harmful emissions. In addition to the public transport of ATM, which aims to have a fully electric fleet by 2030, numerous car-sharing and bike-sharing companies have settled permanently in the municipal area.

Photo LaPresse – Claudio Furlan 28/7/2019 Milan, Italy ChronicleMilan, electric scooters in sharing: a silent invasionIn the photo: scooters in Piazza Duomo

If for bikes the zero-impact choice is obvious, in car-sharing cars are still mostly non-electric. The municipal council has launched a very important signal, starting from 2022 the concession fee for each non-electric sharing vehicle will increase by double compared to an electric vehicle.
Another option of mobility is that of motocycle, very popular both in green and petrol versions. Then there is another means, which in the last year, the most enterprising and curious “city-users” have welcomed with enthusiasm: the electric scooter, which, while triggering fierce controversies for a use often defined as “without rules”, represents a super green alternative , comfortable and easy to use, which the Milanese will hardly give up, especially because, at the moment, neither a driving license nor a license is required to register in the app. The forecast is for 6,000 electric scooters around the city by the end of 2020, supplied by 8 different managers, who have been awarded the Milanese territory, on the condition that they contribute annually to the awareness and information of users on the highway code, with specific campaigns. social advertising.

Here is a complete guide of the services for zero-impact travel in the city of Milan, all accessible via the App:

  • Share NOW (car-sharing): result of the merger between Car2go and DriveNow, it currently supplies only 50 electric BMW I3 cars, with the promise of doubling them by 2022.
  • MiMoto (motocycle sharing): the first totally made in Italy service of free-flow electric motocycles.
  • Ecooltra (motocycle-sharing): Spanish company, European leader in scooter sharing with a fleet of more than 3000 electric vehicles, of which 800 in Milan.
  • GoVolt (motocycle-sharing): present both in Milan and Monza, with a full electric fleet of motocycles, recently expanded with scooters.
  • BikeMi (bike-sharing): Atm service, whose bikes are scattered in special stations for a total of 5 thousand bicycles, including those with assisted pedaling.
  • Mobike (bike-sharing): arrived in Italy in 2017, the Chinese giant operates in free floating mode (i.e. it is possible to let and take bicycles anywhere within the urban area of Milan). The bikes are unlocked through a dedicated app and the rates are calculated in time.
  • Swapfiets (rental bike): a novelty that arrived in Milan in September, which allows you to use a rental bike, without owning it but paying a fixed monthly cost, as you do with Netflix or Spotify. By going to the company’s store (located in Via Lupetta, 3), you can choose and customize your bike, and finally take it home. The substantial difference of Swapfiets compared to the already widespread bike sharing services, lies precisely in the fact that each user has his own personal bicycle, and that he can have it repaired at home, without wondering if leaving home he will find a bike available nearby.

As for the scooters, the service providers are all regulated in the same way, both in terms of registration and payment methods (App), and in terms of speed limits and conditions of use.

The only difference lies in the design of the scooter and the cost of the service, consisting of the release for use (of € 1 or a little less) and the rate per minute. Here are the links for more detailed information:

Zero-impact mobility is a path that involves all of us. We will continue to move, emit CO2 and fine dust, especially when we travel long distances, but why not act on short distances?
Moving around the city in a new and clean way is a necessity, a significant and impactful gesture.
We have no excuses: leaving the car stationary is possible, let’s do it, more and more often!

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