Metamorphosis - innovations on the go: Episode Mobility on two wheels

Metamorfosi - innovazioni on the go: Episodio Mobilità su due ruote

Compostable poké bowl? Short supply chain? Benefit company? What a mess! Will we be able to do some clarity?

We, together with Francesca di In Milan you can we embarked on an editorial project around Milan, in which we will address some burning topics on sustainability, such as: mobility in the city and the new life of the suburbs, the short supply chain and seasonality of products, the new frontiers of delivery and packaging, positive impact and sharing of knowledge and resources.
We will do this by interviewing some virtuous places who have transformed their way of doing catering.
Welcome to Metamorfosi: innovations on the go!

In this first episode we focused on mobility, a hot spot in the discussion on sustainability in Milan. Public transport is becoming more and more widespread, for a better connection of the peripheral areas. The development of sharing services (bicycles, electric scooters, scooters, cars) helps to optimize resources and reduce waste.

The development of new cycle paths brings the city closer to the goal of a total safe connection for those who want to travel by bicycle. Everything pointed to a gradual approach to sustainability goals, but the Covid pandemic has perhaps slowed down the process, changing plans.

Seats on vehicles have decreased, lighting the warning light of an unconditional (and unsustainable) increase in car use in the city.

Even "sharing" mobility, at this time, is a bit scary. And here the Municipality launches a signal, with the controversial cycle path of Corso Buenos Aires.

And the government does its part, with the incentive bonus for the purchase of a sustainable vehicle. The greater difficulties in getting around also help the development of a neighborhood life, a bit like it once was.

How will the city change in relation to the change in mobility? What responsibility do we have as citizens and what are the tasks of those who lead our city? What choices can businesses make to make this path towards a more sustainable city more fluid?

Mobility also means transport. The words seasonality and short supply chain make even more sense, to avoid unnecessary movements and enhance the territory. It is also very important to make the transport of goods between the various commercial points of interest efficient and sustainable.

We discussed all this (and much more) with Luca, founder of Pavé, a patisserie, brewery and ice cream parlor with 4 different shops in the city.

Hi Luca, we have seen the commitment of Pavé in conveying a message of sustainability, linked to mobility on two wheels. As a Milanese, what changes do you think there have been from the 90s to today?

I grew up among big cars parked in the third row. The first changes I experienced, I noticed them in the second half of the 10s of 2000, when the issue of urban cycling was brought to attention. EXPO also lent a hand in this regard, promoting sustainable mobility.
In recent years, with the new administration, the change that was taking place has been even more evident.
Obviously we are only at the beginning, considering that the issue of cycle paths is only addressed for the city center, still excluding the hinterland.

Among other things, we see several cycle paths arise in various areas, which are often not even connected to each other ...

The projects underway seem to be moving in this direction: to create connected cycle paths, so that those who travel by bike can move from one part of Milan to the other without having to alternate between cycle path, road and sidewalk.
The fact of not having a well-connected cycling network is perhaps the main reason that pushes people to prefer other means.

You, like Pavé, immediately took sides in support of sustainable mobility. You have also created a parking space for bikes, in front of your restaurant - the first ever in Milan to be done by a local. Was it difficult to obtain the concession?

It wasn't as complex as you can imagine. Ours was a pilot project with the municipality of Milan who wanted to do an experiment. Led by an architectural firm, we created a space to place racks in front of the room. We were the first, but we hope not to be the only ones. We hope that these islands for bicycles will slowly appear in front of every restaurant and club in Milan.

How was the creation of this bike park experienced by the people of the neighborhood? We often hear people complain about not finding a place to park their car.

Like all controversies, they leave the time they find. After that, people get used to it and change their perspective. And in the end you realize that that novelty is not against you, but it is an extra benefit for the community. Change, I believe, is dictated by time and the education we give to ourselves and our children.

There has been a lot of controversy over the cycle path built in Porta Venezia. What do your customers say about it, being the place a point of reference in the area?

I followed the dynamics a bit from creation to completion. Surely the motorists were not ready to see it placed there, for a matter of traffic that "increases". It certainly needs improvement in terms of signage and safety. However, it is a project that can only benefit the city of Milan and its citizens.

Another choice in terms of sustainability and ethics that you have undertaken concerns delivery. Tell us about it?

We have been collaborating for some time with a delivery company (Urban Bike Messenger) that protects its riders in terms of safety and protection of their work. Initially we used the service only to move the goods from one location to another, in a more sustainable way.
And when we also opted for the delivery of our products, we chose to use their service also in this case. We are delighted with the optioned choice!

Taking a few steps forward into the future, how do you imagine the evolution of Milan in terms of mobility?

My biggest curiosity is to understand how mobility on the surface will change when Metro 4 opens.
In anticipation of that event, returning to the topic of cycle paths, I believe that urban planning in Milan will evolve further, also changing the perception of some neighborhoods, especially the peripheral ones, which are already beginning to discover a new life.

Speaking of neighborhood, you have chosen to call your brewery "Neighborhood Brewery". Is it a choice due to the fact that I wanted to become a meeting place for those who live in the Porta Venezia area?

As for Porta Venezia itself, the birth of Pavé in the area was completely coincidental. From there was born the love for the neighborhood and the people who live there, very different from each other - from the freelancer to the family, from the designer to the Milanese sciura.
We see ourselves as a container of diversity, and we have found this diversity in the neighborhood. With the opening of the brewery, we wanted to emphasize this aspect even more.

Staying on the subject of sustainable choices, you have chosen to stock up with seasonal raw materials and when possible at KM 0.

I think it is simply common sense to use the products that nature makes available to you, when it makes them available to you. Trivially, the product tasted in its season is certainly better than a first fruit or the product itself grown out of season.

The point is that we can offer a quality product with quality raw materials that we have available at that time.

As for the much debated KM 0 issue, when you open a restaurant, you try to look in your neighborhood and understand which are the best suppliers to buy raw materials from. Neighborhood that can be both the neighboring areas of Milan and Lombardy as a whole.
I don't think a totally integralist approach should be adopted: “either it's KM 0 or nothing is done about it”. For me, the relationship with suppliers and the quality of the products that are offered to me are fundamental. 

Last question. What are the next challenges to be faced as a local? 

It is essential to strengthen the story and dialogue with your customers, especially on products. There must be transparency in this relationship. One of the objectives for those who do our work is that what you tell finds correspondence in the work you do every day.

In the places you usually visit, have you noticed any changes in terms of sustainable mobility, a little in the wake of Pavè? And you in your small way, what sustainable behaviors do you adopt for your travels in the city?

If you want to give us some suggestions, write us on Instagram or Facebook. See you in the second episode with Tipografia Alimentare and the new life of the neighborhoods.