Good Practice

MI15 – Spaces and Services

A new approach to developing a 15-minute Milan based on community participation.

Milan City Council
Local policy


  • Empower the local community to shape a 15-minute city and a new approach to city development.
  • Encourage people to co-design the transition towards a new city, where citizens can easily access basic services in their own neighbourhoods, granting residents a larger share of precious time for themselves and their activities.
  • Through these goals, this policy also promotes social cohesion and participation by implementing a new fairer and more sustainable proximity economy and offering inclusive local opportunities for active citizenship and self-employment.


After the pandemic, the need for a new approach to developing the city became an important focus for Milan City Hall. Time is a precious resource for individuals’ well-being, and the city must revitalize non-central districts and make inhabitants’ lives there easier by providing basic services within reach, ideally under 15 minutes from home. Milan must also develop a local civil economy to bridge the gap between the wealthy city centre and its sometimes degraded suburbs, while offering opportunities to all residents.

Market values will be matched with social and environmental sustainability in an innovative economic approach. Residents and local businesses will be empowered and encouraged to become part of the solution.


With funding from the EU—PON Metropolitan Cities, the City Hall’s Department for Urban Economy, Fashion, and Design issued a call for proposals to SMEs, with the goal of providing 15-minute services, creating new proximity spaces and revitalizing the suburbs, with a total budget of €1.35M.

The Mi15 call focused on the following themes:

  • Learning and Play
  • Work and Enterprise
  • Cultural Activities
  • Outdoor Activities
  • Manufacture, Re-use, and Repair
  • Healthy Food and Shopping
  • Health and Well-being
  • Sport and Social Activities

Winning proposals received non-repayable grants covering up to 80% of total budget. Recipients achieving social impact KPIs, defined jointly by City Hall and Milan Polytechnic, could receive grant funding covering an additional 10%.

The policy is part of a wider and integrated city programme to boost the local civil economy by actively engaging local communities. It includes initiatives such as Civic Crowdfunding” (to co-finance social innovation projects in which local community members participate using online platform tools to select best solutions) and “La scuola dei Quartieri” (to assist citizen participation and help communities turn useful ideas into concrete and sustainable local services and activities).


  • Multiple levels of participation
    • SMEs are informed about and involved in policy through a communication campaign.
    • Networks of local stakeholders are engaged via public meetings across city districts.
    • Selected SMEs engage and activate a community of users.
  • Social impact is measured in terms of value generated at community level (e.g., improved participation and collaboration; sense of belonging; social and labour inclusion; personal and family well-being).


  • 52 proposals received.
  • 22 social impact projects funded.
  • €1,350,000 in grants.
  • Social impact indicators defined and measured.
  • Projects cover all Milan districts except city centre.

Examples of Mi15-funded projects:

  • Health centre for children and their families.
  • District concierge bar.
  • Restored farmhouse as hub of social and artistic activities.
  • Mobile bakery lab for proximity services.
  • Research space for youth inclusion, education and culture.
  • Social kiosk and cultural bar.
  • Community theatre for activities and events.
  • Bicycle repair and maintenance workshop.
  • Community bookshop and social venue.
  • Circular economy start-up focused on self-entrepreneurship in digital design and manufacture.



Support for International Activities

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