Territorial Regional Plan for the Lombard Canal Area is the first plan of its kind to be approved by the Lombardy Region. Its aim is to safeguard and protect an area of great cultural importance.
The Naviglio Grande (Grand Canal – built 1177-1272) is the earliest example of an irrigation canal and was built during the Free Commune of Milan. Over the years it gave rise to the development of a network comprising five canals (the Grande, Bereguardo, Pavese, Martesana and Paderno canals), radiating out over much of Lombardy. The canals, called ‘navigli’ in Italian, were based on two great rivers, the Ticino and the Adda, whose waters are channelled along the canals into the heart of Milan.
The landscape of the Navigli is not uniform, but is constantly changing, from one naviglio to another, and along the length of each canal. The first factor to be considered from the point of view of landscape is the actual construction of the canals, their banks, parapets, moorings, basins, side-canals, and bridges. The book, which aims to show a part of the Italian heritage which belongs to everyone, unfolds like a water-course, touching on history, the landscape, territorial factors, the protection of public areas, the protection of agricultural areas and natural oases. It suggests cycling routes, talks about the old Fossa Interna or ‘Inner Ring’ of the navigli around central Milan, the reclaiming of abandoned and derelict areas, the environmentally-friendly corridor being prepared for Expo 2015, tourism and navigation on the canals.