29 October, Milano Fanpage
So far, the biggest shopping centre in Italy was the one in Arese. But, as shopping centres are never too big, Milan decided to beat this record opening a new shopping centre twice as big as Arese. There will be 300 shops, 50 boutiques, 50 restaurants and 16 movie theatres. As the official website of the project reads, “The best of the Italian and international retail will be here, an actual village of luxury”. The centre will occupy a surface of over 200 thousand Sq m in Segrate, in the old customs area, and it will be called Westfield Milano. The opening won’t happen before 2021; the construction has started this year. A possible extension of the M4 metro line with destination Linate airport serving the shopping centre is not to be excluded. Westfield Milano is estimated to receive at least 60 thousand visitors daily, nearly 22 million people in a year. The project was born from the joint venture between Unibail Rodamco Westfield, one the global leaders in the shopping centre sector holding 75% of the project, and Stilo Immobiliare Finanziaria, operating through Arcus Real Estate. The investment amounts to 1.4 billion euro. The shopping centre will create 17 thousand new jobs (although there is no information regarding the employment contract typology) in the commercial activities, and over 20 thousand in the construction activity.
The debate: “No more shopping centres.”
However, many have criticised the project. “Do we really need this?”, wondered the Five Star Movement guru Beppe Grillo in his website. “What’s the point of building another huge shopping centre, resulting in more concrete, territory consumption, waste of energy, pollution and traffic? All this to compel people to shop more, mainly for products they don’t need”, he wrote. “We don’t need new shopping centres. We’re submerged by products and garbage. What else do we have to buy? How much money do we have still to spend? How much more do we have to work to buy what commercials are constantly offering us?”. The matter is aligned with the proposal of the Minister of Labour Luigi Di Maio to close shops during weekends. “Once, we used to rest on Sundays. We used to spend time with family and friends. Now we go to the shopping centre, dealing with traffic and crowds. The shopping centre is a non-place where you end up spending more money than needed due to the endless array of products on offer. As a result, we’re compelled to work even more during the week to spend more money on Sundays”, as provocatively commented Paolo Ernani, who defines himself “a writer, a trainer, an energy consultant, a creator of innovative projects in the work and environments fields”.
Source: Milano Fanpage
Translator: Cristina Ambrosi