One of the features of Expo Milano 2015 is the green and blue colored ring made up of water, cycle paths and routes around the city down to the Ticino valley. It was created based on the waterways that characterize Milan and the Lombardy region. The Waterways are historical and they connect to the main themes of Expo Milano 2015 – the preservation of water as a communal resource and universal right. They also link Milan to its Navigli canals, the Darsena dock and the Leonardesche gates.
The Expo Milano 2015 Island
The Waterways enhance the open spaces and landscapes that are so characteristic of the western part of Milan. The Naviglio Grande, the Darsena and the Villoresi canal with its historic drinking fountains, and the entire water system in general. The improvements to the irrigation system in the area around Milan, together with the cleaning of the Darsena, are all initiatives of the Expo. Milan has waterways that are 20 kilometers long which connect the Villoresi canal with the Naviglio Grande canal, running past the exposition area. The site resembles an island since it is surrounded by the water of the Villoresi canal, which refreshes the whole area.
A green and blue cycle route
The Waterways connect the cycle routes along the canals, through the parks in the north and in the west, as far as the Ticino river and Lake Maggiore on one side and up to the Villa and Royal Park of Monza on the other. Works will improve the parks and the rural territory surrounding them.
The main Waterways are:
• The Northern Waterway, a 7.3 kilometer-long waterway that connects the Villoresi canal to the Exposition site. Along this there are fields, small forests and water channels that connect the northwest of Milan with the city.
• The Southern Waterway is a 11.4 kilometer-long waterway that carries water to the Naviglio Grande canal from the Exposition Site. There is also a cycle route that connects Rho Fiera – and therefore Expo Milano 2015 – with the Milan section of the Naviglio Grande and the Darsena.
• The Darsena and the old city port which will be pedestrianized.
• The area of the Canal Villoresi and its towpaths from the Groane Park to Monza, developed to regulate the flow of the water.
Expo Milano 2015 gives Milan a 125 kilometer-long cycle path (the green-blue route), a new waterway system integrated with the existing water systems and the green areas to the west of the city, urban public space right along the canal up to the newly restored Darsena, plus a network of recovered rural routes, which go far beyond the borders of the capital.
The Darsena of the future
Thanks to Expo Milano 2015 and the Municipality of Milan, the city will be an easier place to live and navigate around. The redevelopment of the Darsena, the increase in green space within the pedestrianized zone of piazza XXIV Maggio and the improvements to the Mura Spagnole and Belvedere areas will give residents the chance to discover a new concept in “urban living”. This is also an opportunity to discover Milan by cycling and walking or via the waterways plus an opportunity for a more ecological and sustainable way of living.