By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
Since it was greatly destroyed during World War II , Milan has rebuilt itself into a thriving cosmopolitan financial capital, and has become one of the world’s most important fashion spots. Home to Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Missoni, Pucci, Versace, Armani and many more of the world’s luxury brands, Milan is also famous for its cutting edge interior design, often created by the very same fashion houses just mentioned.
Fashion aficionados, top-models and paparazzi all gather in the luxurious ‘Quadrilatero della Moda’ (the so-called “fashion quadrilateral”), formed by Via Monte Napoleone, Via Manzoni, Via Sant’Andrea, Corso Venezia and Via della Spiga.
And it is in this latter, which is considered Milan’s most prestigious and upscale shopping street, that the first eco-street will come to life.
The “Spiga Smart Street” will boast an eco- illumination system and free broadband connectivity that will create a high speed communication network to improve the city’s lighting, cut down on waste and monitor energy use. The avant-garde urban LED spotlights and new WiFi system will provide a 70% energy savings and enhance energy services for residents and visitors to the area. The sustainability programme also includes the insertion of urban electric charging stations in line with the UE’s green mobility guidelines, and security with SOS columns and video surveillance.
This project – promoted by the Via della Spiga Association, with the patronage of the City of Milan and many companies including Fastweb, Samsung, and Renault – aims to blend eco-friendly city systems with state of the art technology. Franco D’Alfonso, town councillor of Milan’s municipality, has declared that transforming Via della Spiga into an Eco-Luxury Street will allow to save energy as never before, contributing to making Milan a model city for efficiency.
The move is a well planned one, as it comes before the 2015 Expo, whose theme will be “Feeding the Planet/Energy for Life”. Taking place from May 1st until October 31st 2015, the Expo will embrace the fields of technology, culture, tradition and creativity: all qualities that have defined the Italian capital for centuries, and continue to do so, as demonstrated by its innovative approach to green energy, coming to Italy one street at a time.