Olona enters the city. Reconstruction of the fluvial ecological corridor in the tight metropolitan network


Today the “Alto Milanese” and the “Basso Varesotto” represent without a doubt one of the areas in Europe who have a very high density of urbanization and industrialization, linked to a high percentage of urbanized soil and the strong presence of production and housings.

Between 1950 and 1990 the watercourse in this area, and in particular the Olona river, reached a high level of pollution.

In the last twenty years the conditions improved a lot, which can be attributed to the fact, that there has been built treatment plants to clean the water.  As well there was improvements of the drainage systems and the construction of the sewer networks, who were added to already active processes in deindustrialization and the closing of production activities.

Over the years the urbanization of the pond and the territory surrounding the river has generated a lack of areas in which the rainwater can run to guarantee a protection of the settlements.

Due to this increasing need of permeability in that territory, there should be at least preserved the open spaces. 

In this difficult context, the creation of an ecological connection becomes a real challenge.

Currently the areas who belong to the river are not sufficient enough to guarantee an ecological permeability.

As a result of the investigations, there is the proof during the preparation of the feasibility study of that extended area, that underline how the territorial connections between North and South, which not realized along the Olona river yet, but through the close matrix of the core areas which mainly represent the protected territory of local parcs, areas belonging to the channels, forest areas and agricultural land. There is no need to talk about the ecological “corridors”, but about the ecological “network”.


In this situation mainly the protection of the wide-open spaces and the genuine of this region is important, to achieve as a action of decisive intervention for the territory itself, which shows significant fragmentation.


The project aims for connection, defragmentation and increasing of the main elements in this part of the regional ecological network, to improve and preserve the biodiversity and the genuine of the region. The project's intervention areas are localized in the inner of Parco Locale del Basso Olona, in the territory of the community of Rho and Pregnana Milanese, with long passages and the potential ecological corridors which should connect with the Parco Agricolo Sud.

A main target is to monitor the animal species like yew, stone marten, amphibians woodpeckers and dragonflies to realize afterwards the feasibility study.


There will be activities like trainings and distributions for the responsible stewards and citizens about the importance of the ecological network and the preservation of the biodiversity, but also actions to give an identity to the Parco del Basso Olona:


To reach the target, the project has following strategy:


  • improvement of the protected area (woods, humid areas)
  • increase of biodiversity in this area
  • realization and the increase of the corridors and ecological passages between that areas
  • improvement of the usage and lower the impact for the increase of the citizens in the Parc Del Basso Olona


Traslation by Sophia Ludwig

Pubblicato il14 maggio 2015