Vertical/horizontal Milan: notes on urban quality in the recent transformation cycle of the city

Bertrando Bonfantini


Interpreting some dimensions of the horizontal/vertical relationship in the transformation cycle of Milan, this article develops a reflection on the current urban planning phase of this city referring to some of its specific characteristics.

Despite the emphasis on the common debate as well as the scientific one, considering the vertical development of Milan, this paper argues that the increasing quality of the city, as perceived in recent years, derives from its improved ‘horizontality.’

This article, also resorting to sources from the local debate, argues this thesis in a discussion on peculiar features of some of the most recent, and the near future, transformations of the city, including those of the former trade fair site (City Life project), Garibaldi-Repubblica area (Porta Nuova project), and the abandoned railway yards.


Milan; Horizontality; Verticality; Urban quality; Urban transformations

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