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Brussels, 17 January 2002

Urban II programme: European Union contributes Euro 10.7 million to urban regeneration in the north west suburban areas of Milan, Italy

Michel Barnier, Commissioner responsible for regional policy, has announced the approval by the European Commission of a programme for urban regeneration in the north west suburban areas of Milan - Italy. This URBAN(1) Community Initiative Programme will provide € 10.7 million from the European Union over the period 2000-2006. The European funding has attracted € 16.3 million in further investment from the public sector, creating total resources of € 27 million. Priorities will include training, improvements of the physical environment, improvement of the business environment and various measures to promote the inclusion of disadvantaged groups, particularly into the labour market.

Announcing the decision, Michel BARNIER said: "URBAN programmes are characterised by their creative and innovative approach to urban regeneration. These programmes have a strong "grassroots" emphasis, involving local people at all stages in the decision making process. The programme for Milan is no exception. It mobilises a strong local partnership and I fully endorse the programme priorities of social inclusion, training and renewing the business infrastructure and the physical environment. I am confident that this programme will make a substantial contribution to urban regeneration in Milan."

The programme area covers 12.05 km2 on the North West of Milan with a population of 53,121. The area is facing severe social and economic problems: derelict industrial areas, unemployment, crime, poverty, decaying building and public spaces, deteriorating high-rise social housing blocks and environmental damage. The area is bounded by an international highway and railway infrastructure, nevertheless there are no easy interconnections to the urban centre and to the other suburban neighbourhoods. On the other hand, the transport and energy sectors have a significant growth potential and green open spaces. Historical landmarks are available to improve the physical environment.

The programme aims to tackle these problems with three main priorities:

  • Environmentally friendly improvements of the urban environment. Key actions aim at improving the physical environment and include the rehabilitation of natural and cultural heritage and derelict industrial areas (Community contribution: € 3.7 million).

  • Entrepreneurship and employment pacts to create social initiatives. Key actions include the promotion of community services and various measures to help disadvantaged groups back into the labour market (Community contribution: € 1.6 million).

  • Intelligent transport systems. Key actions include the improvement of the business base and community transport access. (Community contribution: € 4.7 million)

An additional amount of € 0.7 million (Community contribution) will finance technical assistance.

As with all URBAN programmes, this programme will be funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the responsibility of Mr Michel Barnier.


The goal of the URBAN Community Initiative is "economic and social regeneration of cities and of neighbourhoods in crisis in order to promote sustainable urban development". The second round of URBAN ("URBAN II") will cover the period 2000-2006, supporting 70 deprived urban areas across the EU. Total funding from the EU alone will be € 728.3 million and this will attract at least as much again in matched funding from both public and private sectors.

The total URBAN allocation for Italy amounts to € 114.8 million. Programmes have been submitted for Torino, Milan, Genoa, Carrara, Pescara, Caserta, Taranto, Mola di Bari, Crotone and Misterbianco.

A particular feature of URBAN II is the development of innovative models for urban regeneration. Another feature is a strong emphasis on partnership and on involving local actors. There will also be an exchange of information and experience on sustainable urban development across the European Union.

URBAN II is financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Funding is available for initiatives such as the renovation of buildings and public spaces, local employment initiatives, the improvement of education and training systems for disadvantaged groups, the development of environmentally friendly public transport systems, the introduction of more efficient energy management systems and the use of renewable energy, developing the potential created by information society technologies.

The Commission adopts programmes which are proposed by a partnership including local and community groups. These programmes run for the whole of the period 2000-2006 and local actors are involved at all stages in this process.

Managing Authority

The Managing Authority for the Milan URBAN II Programme is:

The Town Council of Milan

Dr. Giuseppe Cozza,

Direzione centrale Ambiente e Mobilità

Via Beccarla, 19

I-20122 Milano


Further information

More detailed information on URBAN II can be found in Memo/01/301 of 25 September 2001 or at the following websites :

European Commission :

Government Office :

The city of Milan :

(1) See below for a description of URBAN II.

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