Milan is the second largest metropolitan area in Italy (3.5 million inhabitants). Total city population is 1.3 million and there are about 1 million daily city users. Total area is spread over 18,200 ha and with very high density i.e. 7,200 inhabitants/km2. In fact the province with 188 municipalities has an average of 1,885 inhabitants/km2. The urbanised land surface covers almost 80% out of the municipal total and the built up surfaces prevail (54%) on green areas (parks), infrastructures.
Milan metropolitan area, as the most crowded region in Italy, has been dealing for many years with traffic congestion, air pollution and intensive use of land. Consequently, it is suffering from environmental changes, in particular from climate changes effects, because of its flatland geographical location, causing thermal waves in the summer, thermal inversion and pollution concentration in winter, and difficult drainage in extreme rainfall conditions. The city public bodies and services developed innovative policies in response to each of these changes.
Several environmental and urban development strategies are already in place. e.g. PGT - Land Management Plan of Milano (2012). The main goal of Milan is to monitor and assess the new PGT – Land Management Plan of Milano - that defines guidelines of development and transformations of the City until 2030, a plan that reconsiders the city according to new and better living conditions, both through less land use exploitation and building energy efficiency.
Among other local policies the commitment to reduce CO2 emissions to at least 20% by 2020 (Milan confirmed its adhesion to the Covenant of Mayors in July 2012) and the elaboration and implementation of the Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) are the major priorities regarding climate change. CO2 emissions in 2005 were 7,781 Kton and the reductions target by 2020 is a decrease of 1,556 Kton. At the moment Milano doesn’t have a comprehensive Climate Change Adaptation Strategy. Nevertheless, many policies are already in place developed by different departments. For instance, the Urban Development Department has a strategic role due to competence in Building and Land use policies. Similarly, the Mobility, Transport and Environment department deals with energy and air pollution policies. Likewise, Public Works and Civil Protection Department are engaged to prevent and manage flooding risks. Health policies are dealt at regional level, but the Municipality Social services Department deals with the management plans for heat or cold waves.