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last updated: October 5, 2005


Comasina is a northern peripheral area in Milan with large estates built in the post-war period 1957-1969, to provide housing to the huge number of immigrants from the South and the East of Italy. Later on, more large-scale estates have been built, not only as public housing, but also through provision of low cost land for social housing.

The Comasina district represents one example of a 'self-sufficient district' a significant step in the history of building and town-planning in the Fifties for the employment of rational spaces, garden areas and the zoning of facilities and an accurate study of routes. In fact, in the beginning, most of the district was located in a green environment. Nowadays these green areas have been transformed into parking areas. In the 1970s, a negative social process (in-migration of very low-income tenants and unemployed) caused a strong physical decline of the buildings: drug abuse and violence were among the most problematic aspects. A large number of inhabitants left the area.

Nevertheless, since the 1990s the situation has changed as a result of both council work and some good practices promoted by ex-tenants who had become owner-occupiers. Some social rented dwellings were demolished and others refurbished. Meanwhile the middle-class owners took care not only of the buildings, but also of the environment. Nearly 6,000 people now live in the area. Most of these are elderly; but - following this positive process - some new and young families have come to live in the area.