Head, hands and heart for a green space

Scritto da Massimo Urso    Lunedì 01 Giugno 2015 00:00

THE PLAYERS
Head, hands and heart for a green space

The park is a collective work wished for and created by many women and men in a time span of four decades. The suburbs of six separate towns met here and, with the Province, Region and townspeople organised in different committees and an Associazione di Amici del Parco (Friends of the Park), believed in a common dream of a large green ‘lung’ to redevelop the whole metropolitan area from the very beginning. Today, the park is the living testimony of the farsightedness of those choices, both technical and political.

1967
The Centro Studi PIM (Piano Intercomunale Milanese) presented the ‘general project plan’, approved by the Mayors’ Meeting, which contained the idea, proposal and, for the first time, the name ‘Parco Nord Milano’.

1970
A Prefect’s Decree established the ‘Consorzio Parco Nord Milano’ (Parco Nord Milan Consortium). The Provincia di Milano (Province of Milan) and the municipalities of Milan, Bresso, Cinisello Balsamo, Cormano, Cusano Milanino and Sesto San Giovanni took part in it.

1973
Roberto Confalonieri was appointed Chairman and the institutional bodies were established. The head office was at Palazzo Dugnani, Milan.

1975
Lombardy Region officially instituted the Parco Nord Milano as a metropolitan belt regional park with Law 78/1975 and, for the first time, brought the European green belt experience into Italian legislation.

1978
Approval of the first Park Area Co-ordination Plan drafted by a group of external architects (Mario Brunati, Demetrio Costantino, Raffaele Selleri, Virginio Vercelloni and Franco Aprà).

1980-1981
In a courageous choice, all the areas owned by the former Breda, almost 120 hectares (296 acres), one-fifth of the whole surface of the park with the consequent opening of a 20-year mortgage.

1983
Ercole Ferrario was appointed Chairman and he soon called Francesco Borella, one of the urban planner architects of the Centro Studi PIM who had worked on the park project since 1967, to work alongside him as Director. The actual creation of the park started under the new director. This was based on individual working drawings and, at the same time, the general park, urban planning, architectural, forestry, environmental and landscape project.

The first reforestation lot for planting out 11,000 trees and plants in an area of 10 hectares started with the co-operation of the Azienda Regionale delle Foreste (Regional Forestry Company) directed at the time by Paolo Lassini. This apparently banal first operation was actually the start of a methodologically revolutionary experience because it was followed by reforestation lots of a similar size for the next 30 years, without interruption.

1985
Approval of the General Variation of the Area Co-ordination Plan, arranged by Francesco Borella with the legal consultancy of Marco Locati (lawyer); the outline design, with the landscape consultancy of Andreas Kipar, architect, occurred at the same time.
In these two years, the first jobs were filled to adapt the structure of the park, inexistent up to that time as subrogated under the technical and organisation support of the structure of the PIM.

1990
After the premature death of the chairman Ercole Ferrario, Angelo Lesma was appointed ‘caretaker’ Chairman. After a first training course, some Volunteer Ecological Guards (GEV – Guardie Ecologiche Volontarie) from Group 2, Milan, entered into service. A further 28 from the second training course and 31 after the third course joined them. Over the years, there have been 7 training courses and the GEV Service can currently count on more than 120 guards qualified for service (manager Erminio Capelloni).

1994
After the two years of Michele Rossetti’s chairmanship, Antonio Sormani was appointed Chairman. He followed the policy of consolidation of the structure and employment in both the planning (manager Davide Papa) and agronomic and forestry sectors (manager Roberto Zanata).
In the second half of the 1990s, other sectors were also structured: Administrative Service (manager Paola Ameri), Financial Service (manager Mauro Mantegazza), Surveillance Service (manager Gianmario Bernasconi) and Life of the Park Service (manager Tomaso Colombo). Essential qualified technical figures, such as Riccardo Tucci, professional forester, were also employed.

2000
Selection procedure for the new Director. Riccardo Gini gave a new impulse to the development of the internal structure (in particular with the employment of the architects Paolo Caporale and Giovanna Carbonara and the agronomist Fabio Campana) so that a real start was made to the creation of important works which would lead to seeing the target of the ‘completion’ of the park at the end of the decade within easy reach.

2004
Ignazio Ravasi was appointed Chairman and, at the same time, he promoted the visibility of the park and its recognition in the Milanese area with the celebrations of the 30th anniversary and, in particular, the conception and creation of the 1st edition of the
Biodiversity Festival.

2009
Carmelo Gambitta was appointed Chairman. The great projects of area transformation of the western sector of the park (Niguarda-Affori-Bruzzano) were consolidated with the Municipality of Milan in these years.

2011
Giuseppe Manni, currently in office, was appointed Chairman. An important stimulus for the resumption of the large park completion projects which, after years of stagnation, were actually fulfilled, arrived under his chairmanship. In addition, he has promoted new forms of environmental voluntary work towards a renewed empowerment of townspeople, companies, associations and local administrations.

2014
In addition to the people already mentioned, Monica Beretta, Donatella Biccheddu, Francesco Carbone, Davor Colombo, Alberto Corbetta, Valeria Dalla Francesca, Luisa Del Soldato, Gennaro Di Maio, Paolo Dileo, Marco Fiori, Vilma Frigerio, Antonio Imbrogno, Severina Lombardi, Luca Longinotti, Luca Luciano, Barbara Luraschi, Carlo Mancastroppa, Savino Patruno, Stefano Perego, Amneris Pinelli, Elisabetta Pirovano, Davide ranza, Massimo Rizzo, Marco Segabrugo, Marco Siliprandi, Livio Tiberti, Umberta Todone, Lorenzo Tonin, Lorenzo Tottolo, Paolo Tumiati and Massimo Urso also work with passion and constancy today.
Attilio Bianchi, Francesco Melia, Giovanni Mirabella and Davide Versolato spent all their working lives in the park with extraordinary commitment, leaving indelible traces in the woods and eco-systems.