Institution: Regione Lombardia – Italy
Keywords: Multifunctionality, Green Infrastructure, Integrated Planning, Multiscalar Planning, Landscape Integrated Planning
The Regional Green Network (RGN) is one of the main innovations of the Regional Landscape Plan being drawn up in Lombardy to deal with cultural landscape and environmental protection. The RGN is based on the Regional Ecological Network (REN), with adding further components such as agriculture, culture, historic and leisure sites. It is designed assuming the landscape and environmental asset of the region (eg.: agriculture, lakeshores, peri-urban agriculture, forests, historical and irrigation canals, historical paths, tranquil areas, spring water, etc.), finding out the main focal points where green network and landscape cornerstone elements converge, aiming to integrate the diverse components of the system in a multifunctional perspective. The RGN designed at regional level has to be exploited at different territorial scale, according to local authorities planning competences, having them in charge to detail and implement the green network in their own land use plans. The RGN is the main structured frame to sketch the detailed design of the local urban and peri-urban forestry with an integrated, interdisciplinary, participatory and strategic approach in planning and managing tree resources for their economic, environmental and sociocultural benefits. It is ensured the promotion of a comprehensive and integrated planning approach to the elements of the natural, cultural and rural systems favouring the access and use of RGN by soft mobility network such as pedestrian, cycle paths and public transport and ensuring the ecological continuity at territorial scale. The RGN concretizes both the approach stated in the European Union’s “Green infrastructures strategy” and the European Landscape Convention principles, which recognizes the importance of the environmental elements in landscape planning, improving the integration between cultural and ecological aspects in a comprehensive approach. The RGN includes urban forestry as a fundamental component of an integrated spatial design in which networks or systems including woodlands, parks, open spaces located in urban and peri-urban areas and derelict sites are components of the green infrastructure backbone. This allows bridging rural and urban areas, improving a city’s environmental, biodiversity, climate quality and citizens’ sense of place. This is particularly important in the metropolitan region of Milan, where live 35% of the regional population and is affected by the presence of seven million people daily.