Nord Milano Park is a regional park on the metropolitan belt established in 1975, located in the municipalities of Milan, Bresso, Cinisello Balsamo, Sesto San Giovanni, Cormano and Cusano Milanino. Since 1983, the Park has undergone reforestation and environmental redevelopment interventions, currently in progress, for a total of over two hundred thousand specimens of trees and shrubs belonging to over 100 tree species (Colombo 1998, Colombo & Gini 2008). Being located in a strategic position, it has the function of "stepping stone", that is, an area of passage and rest of the fauna (especially birds) towards and from the areas with the highest biodiversity. It covers an area of about 800 hectares, most of which are occupied by meadows with tree-lined bands, groves, lakes and streams and agricultural areas.
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Nord Milan Park extends for about 800 hectares between the districts of the northern outskirts of Milan. Its conception dates back to the late 1960s, but it was only in 1975 that it was recognized by the Lombardy Region as a regional park. Its management is entrusted to a Consortium made up of the six Municipalities around the Park and the Province of Milan.
The park is located in one of the most densely urbanized areas in Europe, characterized by the presence of historic factories (today almost completely disappeared following de-industrialization) and large building districts which, over time, have connected the northern suburbs of Milan to its hinterland, without any urban design.
Further information (in Italian)
North Milan Park is a regional public law body which has the neighbouring municipalities as associated bodies (Municipality of Milan, Municipality of Bresso, Municipality of Cinisello Balsamo, Municipality of Cormano, Municipality of Cusano Milanino, Municipality of Novate Milanese, Municipality of Sesto San Giovanni) and the Metropolitan City of Milan. Established in 1970 with the intention of redeveloping the neighborhoods of the northern suburbs of Milan, today it is located in a much wider, developed and urbanized territorial context, which moves the mission of the Park to enhance not only the northern Milan area but the whole metropolitan area. Over the years, the Park has assumed a central role in the Metropolitan City, strengthening the bond and knowledge with citizens, increasing its attractiveness, livability, usability, safety and education in sustainability.
The activities aimed at the management, protection and promotion of the Park's natural heritage are strictly connected to cultural initiatives that aim to increase the awareness of visitors on the importance and need to adopt daily behaviours that minimize the impact on the environment, transforming the "Park that creates culture" in a place of naturalistic interest but also for meeting, education, participation and socialization.
In particular, of the seven hundred and ninety hectares of protected territory, the North Milan Park has transformed four hundred and fifty into natural and equipped green areas, counting one hundred and one hectares of native woods, two hundred twenty-five of lawns, one hundred of agricultural fields and eleven lakes; which house eighty-five species of birds, twenty of mammals, six of reptiles, four of amphibians, twenty-five of dragonflies, twenty-three of butterflies, twenty species of trees, twenty-five of shrubs and dozens of species of wild flowers.
In addition to re-naturalizing the area, the Park has created forty-one kilometers of pedestrian paths, thirty-five kilometers of cycle paths, twenty-eight sports centers/playgrounds and thirteen lots of urban gardens.
This deep transformation of the territory, in what was originally an abandoned industrial area, was possible thanks to a structure consolidated over the years in various services such as: the management service of the building-infrastructural heritage; the management service of the Park's natural heritage and the Park Life and Surveillance service.
The integrated system of these services has allowed the North Milan Park to manage and maintain the ordinary and extraordinary natural heritage of the Park and to develop the following activities:
A community made up of citizens, organizations and associations with which the Park maintains relations by giving organizational support and promoting moments of social aggregation aimed at promoting ecological and sustainability issues such as: exhibitions, conferences, meetings, parties, ecological initiatives, non-competitive sports initiatives, communication campaigns and fundraising, gravitates around the North Milan Park.
Particular space is dedicated to scientific teaching, environmental education and internship with schools with the following activities:
Finally, North Milan Park is the lead organizer of what has become a reference event for the city: the Biodiversity Festival. Now in its 14th edition, the Biodiversity Festival is inspired by the values and intentions established by the UN, which each year defines a theme aimed at the knowledge, promotion and protection of biodiversity. On this occasion, citizens come into contact with the biodiversity of the Park, touching it with their hands, understanding its profound value for the sustainable development of the territory and discovering the environmental and naturalistic requalification interventions, the rural and natural landscapes present in the city.