Milan glocal city

The large urban areas effectively represent privileged observation posts for emerging phenomena: movements in the global flows of goods, money, people and information; the organisational networks surrounding functions (finance, media and communications, manufacturing sectors and professions, research, etc.); the presence of new migrants, or new “mobile workers”

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The projects on Milan

All urban areas, including the Milanese area with its branching into Northern Italy, are radically rethinking themselves and their internal governance structures. Recent decades have in fact strongly emphasised how governance problems relating to the urban phenomenon cannot be resolved by an approach that looks only at changing the morphology of the traditional type of institution (municipality, province, metropolitan area).

No longer a services nor an industrial city, Milan is undergoing great change. Today, Milan is an important, functional node of the global network and counts itself among the top ten global cities.


Seminar “La città-mondo. Attraversando Expo”, by Politecnico di Milano, in collaboration with Aaster;

Seminar “Spazialità metropolitane: economia, società territorio”, promoted by Centro Studi PIM,

Seminario “Global cities e dimensione regionale”, promoted by Consiglio Regionale della Lombardia and Èupolis Lombardia.

In the framework of the work done in order to elaborate a strategical proposal for metropolitan area of Milan, participation to the initiative “Le idee di Expo - Verso la Carta di Milano” (7 febbraio 2015), and to the work finalized to elaboration of the Chart of Milan. 

Organization of a seminar, on Januar the 19th, with Salvatore (Feltrinelli Foundation) Veca and others proferrors of main Universities of Milan, on the issue of glocalization.

2012 -2014 Activities: Advisory Network for Milan glocal and smart city

Globus et Locus has continued and expanded the work of study and practice around the theme of governance of the glocal city region, contributing to the animation of an advisory network for the Glocal city of Milan, in line with the mandate given by the Mayor of Milan to Piero Bassetti, president Globus et Locus, in 2012, in order to play an advisory role for the promotion of Milan’s glocal profile. Function that it been chosen to configure as advisory network, or as a locus, a complex of variable relationships designed to help providing useful information to answer the questions posed to and from the city in its glocal dimension.

The association has also brought forward the commitment of Expo 2015, contributing to the development and promotion of cultural discourse of Milan in view of Expo and actively participating in the debate, in events such as "Milan city of Expo. The creative metropolis becomes smart", Milan, January 27, 2014, Fondazione Corriere della Sera; conference  "Daily food. Interdisciplinary dialogue about nutrition, culture and society", on April 8, University of Milan; seminar "Glocalization and Expo Milano 2015", promoted by Globus et Locus and Laboratory Expo-Feltrinelli Foundation, November 6, 2014; Event "Expo of Ideas: towards the drafting of the Charter of Milan", 7 February 2015, Hangar Bicocca.

In June 2014, the Ambrosianeum Report 2014 was opened with an essay by Piero Bassetti entitled "Expo between global and local: the genius loci of Milan", in view of the important Expo event but especially in view of the post- Expo.

During 2014, the journal Glocalism dedicated number 2014 / 1-2 to the issue "Feeding the planet. Energy for Life ", and the number 2014/3 to the issue "Global Cities". The contributions and the focus  can be found on the  site

Atlas of flows and of opportunities of air traffic in milanese area (2012-2013)

Among the initiatives of particular interest in this area we point out: the "Study Day on Milan Glocal city" of 16 May 2012, sponsored by University of Milan in collaboration with Globus et Locus, and the meeting on "The relationship between multinationals and Milan. Opportunities and challenges", organized on November 8, 2012 by Globus et Locus and Chamber of Commerce of Milan as part of the Advisory Network, which has been directed towards the deepening of the relationship with multinational companies present in Milan.

In 2013, Globus et Locus made for Sea S.p.A., the Research “Atlas of flows and of opportunities of air traffic in milanese area”. The idea of this project, shared with Sea, came from the need to have a clear representation, in the innovative form of the Atlas, of air flows of milanese airport system (Malpensa, Linate and Orio al Serio), in order to better understand how Milan anche Padan plain is a glocal city, able to be a node in the global network. This project was realized for Sea, in cohoperation with Politecnico di Milano.

2010-2011 Activities: "Intangible flows in the Milanese economy and the implications for businesses"

Between 2010 and 2011 Globus et Locus together with the Chamber of Commerce of Milan developed the research project on “Intangible flows in the Milanese economy and the implications for businesses”. The overall objective was to try and build a picture of the intangible flows that transit through the so-called Milanese Internet network and the implications this has for the world of businesses, in an advanced context, like the one in Lombardy. The project was the logical extension of research into "Measuring and Representing the logistical flows of Milan”, which constituted progress in the awareness of the Milanese Logistical Region, from the glocal perspective. The results of the study are contained in the book "Network Milano" (Bruno Mondadori, 2010).

Keeping to a similar methodology approach, research on the intangible flows had as its objective to further explore the current knowledge base relating to the configuration of intangible flow networks in the Milanese "glocal city region". The results of the study are contained in Impresa & Stato review (Bruno Mondadori, 95/2012)

2008-2009 Activities: Measurement and representation of logistic milanese area

Starting from the series of considerations listed above and finalising the commitment on these supporting issues to help Milan Chamber of Commerce of Milan reform its statistics offices, as of September 2008 Globus et Locus are working on a project which aims to measure the flows of the Milanese supply region (previously identified in“Milan and its gateways”) outlined below, via a new system to be implemented by Milan Chamber of Commerce.

The intention is to represent the flows fed by the various modes of transport (rail, road and air) for the area in question. These flows will be both intra-regional and inter-regional.

The flows are measured by identifying certain “regional products” (with the methods used for identification specified below), for which the supply chain and relative value chain will be reconstructed. Consequently, not only the quantitative volumes of these flows, but also their qualitative aspects referred to value will be measured. 

In short, this project deals with four levels of methodological problems in order to launch the flow measurement activity: Definition of the Milanese supply area; Feasibility of flow measurement; Representation of flows in a model; Application to certain products which transit along the supply chain.

2004- 2005 Activities: "Milan, node of a global network"

The “Milan, node in a global network” project is the result of efforts by the Milan Chamber of Commerce and Globus et Locus to promote research and analysis on this issue, and create an itinerary for analysis and recommendations. The aim is to respond effectively to the challenges of globalisation faced by local structures.

Can Milan act as a node in the global and the regional network? Pursuing answers to this question, the project set itself the following objectives: to leverage the contribution of multiple institutional, cultural and economic actors in Milan and the wider Po Valley region; to bridge knowledge gaps on the subject of Milan as a node in the global network; to build a synthesis that can offer innovative approaches for policy and governance.

To achieve these objectives, the project methodology involved gathering contributions from a working group coordinated by Professor Mauro Magatti. The group was comprised of academics specialising in a range of fields, including economics, sociology and international relations.

The working group’s contributions to the project are published in "Milano, nodo della rete globale. Un itinerario di analisi e proposte" (Milan, a node in the global network. An itinerary of analysis and proposals), published by Bruno Mondadori in 2005.

2006-2007 Activities: "Milan and its gateways"

On one hand, the work done in 2004-2005 allowed us to explore crucial issues related to Milan as a node in the global network. On the other, it pointed to a series of knowledge challenges still to be developed. In particular, the project revealed that thinking on the spaces and networks around Milan remains a work in progress.

It requires collecting the thoughts of the actors involved, empirical investigations and new statistical analyses. Functional institutions such as the Chambers of Commerce will increasingly be called upon to perform a key role in building a new governance process for developing cities as nodes in the global network. The “Milan and its gateways” project responds to some of the challenges which emerged from our previous work, and sets the following principle objectives: to interpret ongoing changes using appropriate statistical tools; to create a common policy planning forum which is open to the dialectics of interests and knowledge-based values. Following a year’s research, in May 2007 the “Milan and its gateways” report was produced.

Milan as a global city can therefore be described as a matrix in which global and local knowledge cross paths. The gateways of the Milanese global city-region studied were: the logistics and transport system; the airport system; the design system; the research and innovation system; the university system; the trade fair system.

To achieve its research objectives, the project turned to a working group coordinated by Professor Paolo Perulli and a scientific committee which included some of the world’s leading international experts on glocal cities: Neil Brenner from New York University, Peter Taylor from Loughbrough University and Pierre Veltz from the Ecole National de Ponts et Chausèes.



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