However, the last two decades have seen the Northern capital rise from its industrial ashes and converting its old, often abandoned production areas into vibrant cultural hubs, bringing a revolution in its metropolitan landscape.
Much of this has happened around the hype for the World Expo 2015, whose preparation gave new energy to the city: from a new, driverless subway line to a massive urban requalification and more pedestrian and green areas in the city centre have brought innovative designs and a higher quality of life in the city.
One of the most relevant projects is the renewal of the area named Porta Nuova. Located close to the Central Station, it used to be home to the fun-park called Le Varesine, a staple in Milanese life from the ‘70s to its closure in 1998. The area is now scattered with pinnacles of towering, futuristic skyscrapers gathering around Piazza Gae Aulenti and Porta Garibaldi Station, among which is the innovative Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest), two twin residential towers covered in green terraces.
A substantial requalification transformed the area around via Tortona, Porta Genova and the Navigli. Once an industrial patch, the empty buildings of the factories have been turned into cultural hubs, such as the Museum of Cultures, BASE and Spazio ex-Ansaldo, and giving way to a series of events, co-working and social initiatives that reshaped local’s everyday life. The area of the Darsena, left in an abandoned state for many years, has been turned into an urban beach with bars, restaurants and shops all around.
Other areas that have been completely redesigned are the new City Life and Tre Torri area, and new spaces like Fondazione Prada and Hangar Bicocca are home to some incredible exhibitions and are renowned realities on the international scene.