Populations on the Move: Mobility Practices in the Milan Urban Region

Special Report: Low Density and Costs of Urban Development
By Paola Pucci

An analysis of mobility within the Milan Urban Region underscores the need to implement operations able to take stock of various “mobile communities” (Le Breton, 2006), hence the “communities of practice” (Amin Thrift, 2002), in order to reach beyond those approaches characterized by: a major focus on the offer of new infrastructures and services having a minor degree of difference between them; treatment of the need for mobility in its aggregated form and exclusively and simply in terms of transit of fluxes. A critical examination of the rationality that underpins individual transit choice, yet also a critical examination of the bureaucratic rationality inherent in decisions relating to mobility policies, leads us to two integrated perspectives, in the Milan Urban Region: from the recognition of mobile populations which are given the opportunity of choosing among alternative forms of available mobility which can offer the greatest flexibility, range of connections, reversibility and the best means of accessing the various resources and destinations possible, so as to provide people with the chance to develop their own personal projects as well as to ensure equity and the “right of movement”; from the encounter with “territories in movement” and to integrate mobility policies with approaches based on socio-economic development.

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