Since the outbreak of Europe’s refugee crisis, Milan has become a major transit point for those landing in southern Italy heading to northern Europe to be reunited with family or to look for work. As more and more northern European countries close their borders, Milan is changing from a point of transition to a point of arrival for many migrants. Since 1999, the percentage of non-Italian residents in Milan has increased from less than eight percent in 1999 to almost 19 percent in 2017. Projections from Milan’s statistical office suggest this will reach 30 per cent by 2035.
A few tram stops from Milan’s historic centre sits the San Siro neighbourhood. Constructed during the second world war as a model for the future city, including 6,000 popular (council) homes. Today, 40% of the neighbourhoods 11,000 residents have a foreign background making the neighbourhood one of the most culturally diverse within the city.
The neighbourhood has a problematic reputation in part linked to the abusive occupations (squats) that are prevalent in the area. Mapping San Siro, an Action Research project based in the neighbourhood suggest that beyond the headlines there is something else: a galaxy of micro-worlds where the residents through the practices of everyday life have begun to reorganise spaces, rewritten habits and rules of cohabitation. When viewed as a whole the neighbourhood can be seen as a cultural mosaic that constitutes both a richness and a challenge for San Siro.
The research, initially undertaken collectively, resulted in a wide range of projects exploring varying issues emerging directly from San Siro, the wider city context and migration trends. View projects here
Special thanks to everyone at Mapping San Siro / Politecnico di Milano and all those who were so generous with their time during our time in Milan.
Francesca Cognetti: Mapping San Siro / Polisocial-PoliMi
Ida Castelnuovo: Mapping San Siro / Polisocial-PoliMi
Elena Maranghi: Mapping San Siro
Giada Mascherin: Mapping San Siro
Sabina Uberti Bona: Ass. Cadorna, School association
Master Students of PoliMi