Mayor of Milan promotes innovation and inclusive growth

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Giuseppe “Beppe” Sala is an Italian politician, manager and the current mayor of Milan. He assumed the mayor’s office in June 2016.

Born in 1958 in Milan, Giuseppe Sala pursued his interest in economics and enrolled into Bocconi University where he obtained a degree in Economics and Business Administration. He started his political career as City Manager of Municipality of Milan. Because of his successes in this function, he was elected as CEO of the EXPO 2015 Milan. He held this position from 2010 until 2015. This was his breakthrough in the political world, which provided him with the basis for further development.

During the 2016 municipal elections, Giuseppe Sala was elected as new mayor of Milan. His policies revolve around promotion of inclusive growth, sustainable development and internationalization of the city. These axes are primarily supported by his support for social cohesion and increase of citizen participation.

One of the major projects Giuseppe Sala started for promotion of inclusive growth was Open Squares. The plan was to introduce tactical urbanism to the city, which was based on small redevelopment of neighborhoods through citizen participation. The primary goal of this strategy was to establish local squares once again as centers of districts. 

This was done through transformation of parking spaces at the high traffic areas into places where citizens and other entities can organize events. These squares are maintained, managed and designed  through collaboration between the public and private sector. The programming of events is also a joint effort from the City Council, mayor of Milan and citizen groups.

Next major project was WeMi, a platform for home-care and household services. This service enables local residents to explore various options for home-care of the elderly, educational options for minors and household maintenance. Besides these options, it serves as a marketing platform for social businesses and non-profit organizations. Through WeMi, entities can advertise their programs, services and opportunities, which can show people their social commitment.

In the innovation sphere, mayor Sala was one of the organizers of FabriQ, the first social innovation incubator in the city of Milan. This facility is owned by the municipality, but it is managed through joint effort from local administration, Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini and Impact Hub Milano organizations. The location, in the suburb Quarto Oggiaro, enables this facility to promote start-ups as new engines of the local economy. Three primary functions of FabriQ are: incubation (intensive programme for support of start-ups entering market), training (an innovative set of educational courses and workshops) and social innovation (mainly projects in the outskirts of the city, focused on social mobility and urban regeneration).

With these projects, mayor Giuseppe Sala enabled the city of Milan to reach high ranking places in nearly all spheres. This includes both national and European Union levels, with most notable ranking being first in Europe in regards to reduction of emission. (photo credit: wikipedia)