Shaping space for ever-changing mobility. Covid-19 lesson learned from Milan and its region

Keywords: Mobility, Resilient Infrastructure, Public Space, Data Analytics


In the Milan experience, Covid-19 emergency crucial issues were already hidden weaknesses of the city and its region: the limited capacity of transit transport, roads and public spaces, with crowding problems for both work and leisure. The challenge is to regenerate the competitive “human measure” of Milan, based on its unique relationship between public spaces and mobility, overcoming its health risk. The report raises a question on the established transit-oriented development approach, focusing on spaces “in between” and not only on nodes and networks. The traditional “invariants” welcome changes: the spatial structure of the public realm becomes a platform for ever-changing mobility and services, providing quality of life for communities, users and tourists. With this respect, streets represent by far the most strategic asset of the urban public realm. They can be reshaped in resilient infrastructure capable to respond to new forms of mobility based on a renewed Mobility-as-A-Service paradigm, as final result of different travel behaviors of the post pandemic scenario, among which an expected reduction of the overall “mobility consumption” (space) and new temporal urban rhythms (time). To this end, short-term and responsive planning becomes a crucial opportunity to enable rapidly deployed responses, through an extensive use of new analytical tools based on Open and Big data analytics and computer-based simulations.


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Author Biographies

Diego Deponte, Systematica Srl

Diego De Ponte is Partner, Director and Member of the BoD of Systematica. With a Master of Science in Civil Engineering (Specialization in Transport Planning and Infrastructure Design) at Politecnico di Milano, he has been working for more than 15 years on the Transport Planning and Mobility Engineering industry, gaining a considerable experience in all-round transport and mobility planning and design as well as territorial/urban planning. His multi-faceted experience includes strategic national, regional and urban transport planning, development transport planning, strategic traffic and revenue advisory, crowd management and mobility planning of major events, feasibility studies of transport infrastructures and mobility services, multi-modal transport assessments, parking engineering, pedestrian flow analysis and vertical transportation appraisals, smart and electro-mobility planning, transport modelling with robust knowledge of a large set of different transport planning / traffic engineering suites of codes.

Giovanna Fossa, Polytechnic University of Milano

She is Full Professor on Urban Design and Planning, Architecture and Urban Studies Department, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Politecnico di Milano. She has gathered a long and international experience (teaching, research and projects) on issues of urban regeneration projects, regional and landscape planning; special focus on landscapes of production, the integration between infrastructures and settlements, tourism and place making. She has been cooperating with ETH Zurich, SUPSI Lugano, Regional Plan Association New York. Since 2018 she has been member of the Urban land Institute Executive Committee. Among her publications: Settlement as Factory in The Design of Urban Manufacturing (Routledge 2020), L’industria fa bella la città (Prodigi 2019), Planning Talks (Maggioli 2018), Industrial Heritage Sites in Transformation (Routledge 2014), Itatour (F. Angeli 2012), Un atlante per Milano (Skira 2006), Transforming the Places of Production (Olivares 2002), Il Sempione, grand axe del territorio milanese (Gangemi 1996).

Andrea Gorrini, Systematica Srl

He is a psychologist with experience in human behavior in transport systems. Since 2019, he collaborates with Systematica as Transport Research Consultant. He is currently involved in the Horizon 2020 DIAMOND Project, aimed at progressing towards a more inclusive and efficient transportation system. He oversees research and development activities related to the identification, collection and exploitation of different mobility data sources that will allow to understand and address gender-specific needs. Andrea Gorrini is specialized in environmental psychology, focusing on crowd dynamics, pedestrian behavior and walkability. In 2014 he earned his PhD in Information Society, focusing on proxemic-based simulation models of pedestrian crowd dynamics. He is particularly skilled in data collection and analysis through GIS, controlled experiments, video-recorded observations and statistics. He has experience of academic research projects with the University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy), the University of Tokyo (Japan) and the Monash University (Australia).


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How to Cite
DeponteD., FossaG., & GorriniA. (2020). Shaping space for ever-changing mobility. Covid-19 lesson learned from Milan and its region. TeMA - Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 133-149.
Special Issue - Covid-19 vs City-20