Environmental recovery of a quarry ATEg32 - Gaggiano, Trezzano sul Naviglio, Zibido San Giacomo

Quarry restoration ATEg32
Area characterisation: 

The extractive area ATEg32 is formed by two under-areas called ATEg32C1 and ATEg32C2 for a total area of 81 hectares for extraction of gravel and sand up to the maximum depth of 28 meters from ground level; a good portion of this area has already been recovered while extracting activities continues in the external north and south portions.

The ATEg32 is located on the south west area of the Metropolitan City of Milan on three municipalities: Gaggiano, Trezzano sul Naviglio and Zibido San Giacomo.

 The predominant landscape of this area is still agricultural with rice and corn areas crossed by a dense network of natural waterways, canals and springs and the nearby route of the west ring highway of Milan.

In this extractive area work two companies: cave Merlini and Bonilauri. The area fall within the Agricultural South Park of Milan and is crossed by the Regional Ecological Network.


This project aims to include : 
• transformation of some portions of agricultural land in wooded strips and recovery of some rows, that were not in a good state of preservation;
• creation of a new area for the relocation of the working installations;
• fulfillment of the existing ecological network and hiding/masking of the extractive areas;
• realization of set-aside fauna;
• realization of a cane thicket with the use of lime arising from the washing of extracted gravel and sands;
• realization of areas for activities with canoe
• creation of an embankment to hide the machinaries
• realization of micro island within the lake for birds
• creation of a new wetland with diversified environmental types and creation of an observation point;
• environmental restoration and re-naturalization of the area affected by the new extractive activity with
a morphological and vegetative restoration of the banks
• creation of wetlands along the banks;
• creation of wooded spots along the banks of Lake San Novo;
• creations of roads and footpaths for the use of the area;
• construction of two areas for bird watching;
• construction of three peninsulas with the fruitless material of the quarry;
• environmental recovery of the area for recreational use: grass, rows of trees and service roads
• planting of two rows to hide the extractive activities;
• construction of footpaths and bicycle paths in connection with the existing bike paths.

Potential impacts/benefits: 

• Macro scale mitigation by enhancing carbon storage and sequestration in vegetation and soil
• Micro scale adaptation through planting vegetation to improve local climate through cooling, shading and shelter
• Provide elements characterizing the heritage and aesthetics of the area
• Provide social interaction and support healthy living
• Air quality improvement
• Noise reduction ecological restoration

NBS benefits 
  • Developing climate change adaptation; improving risk management and resilience
  • Reduce flood risk
  • Reducing temperature at meso or micro scale
  • Developing climate change mitigation
  • Carbon sequestration and storage
  • Restoring ecosystems and their functions
  • Greater ecological connectivity across urban regenerated sites
  • Increase Biodiversity
  • Increase social interaction
Transferability of the result: 

Project that can be locally replicated, Data available

Lessons learned: 

The company has created an area called “Lake Nature Boscaccio” for “green events” like corporate meetings, educational activities, weddings.  Furthermore they organize guided nature activities and educational activities in more marginal areas and protected places. Interesting are the sport activities in the quarry lake.

The management of the equipped space is supervised and regulated by the owner companies of the areas, while there are areas on the edge of the extraction area open to public use.

Over the years many intervention are made to mitigate the impact of the presence of the extractive activities with their machinery and installations in order to protect the fruition of the recovered activity areas.


It is estimated a value of around 500.000 euro. The quarryman finances the planning and the realization of the environment recovery project. The quarryman finances the planning and the realization of the environment recovery project .  

NBS classification: 

Davoli Cinzia: (mail to:c.davoli@cittametropolitana.mi.it)
Giulia Garavaglia: (mail to:giu.garavaglia@cittametropolitana.mi.it)