One of the biggest metropolises of Italy located in the region of Lombardy with more than 1 million inhabitants. The city is mostly exposed to pluvial flooding, extreme wind and heatwaves. Milan has a city Masterplan with a vision towards 2030, which introduces a resilience approach in built context and public spaces, emphasizing increasing green areas to reduce the impact of climate change. The city has also drafted the first integrated Air & Climate Action Plan to identify priority measures for air quality and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Extended city story

The municipality of Milan has been working on adaptation for years. Main climate threats are heat stress and floods. Two projects that the municipality is working on currently are the implementation of their Air and Climate Plan (ACP) and the application for funding from the National Government. The ACP is a climate action plan and targets adaptation, mitigation and resilience and sustainability. The plan is connected to various other strategies and plans such as the City Masterplan and the Resilience strategy. With the ACP, Milan is moving from a planning phase towards as phase of implementation. The objectives include becoming a 1) healthy and inclusive Milan, 2) connected and accessible Milan, 3) sustainable energy Milan, 4) resilient and climate adaptive Milan, and 5) participatory Milan. Additionally, an important aspect for Milan is to mitigate gentrification effects of climate adaptive developments. 

The funding facility from the national government is part of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, which is facilitated by the European Commission to mitigate impacts from the Corona crisis through green development. Funding from the facility can be obtained for development programmes focussed on for example removing pavement and reducing flood risk. A requirement for obtaining funding is that new developments should oblige to the ‘do-not-significant-harm’ (DNSH) principle, and therefore performing a risk assessment. This principle is part of the EU Taxonomy Regulation, that was developed by the Technical Expert Group (TEG) on sustainable finance. The aim is to generate a consensus on a unique EU standard for sustainable finance in order to steer meaningful investments and increase transparency (TEG, 2019). The DNSH principle states that no development should lead to harm to any of the six environmental objectives within the Taxonomy Regulation (e.g., protection and restoration of biodiversity & ecosystems). Moreover, it should be reported on how and to what extent specific goals are achieved.  

Both the implementation of the ACP and application for funding, create a demand for systems and capacity to monitor and evaluate adaptation actions and policies and to perform risk assessments for new developments. While climate information and various climate services are available for Milan, there is no clear overview present of all information and potential knowledge and information gaps. Potential directions for improving the knowledge base include: generating urban heat island maps and understanding social vulnerability.  

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