Re-imagining Corso Buenos Aires

Page 1

Re-imagining Corso Buenos Aires

Made in Milan by Transform Transport Š 2018, Systematica Srl All studies presented in this book are developed by Transform Transport. All rights reserved. Unauthorised use is prohibited. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the written permission of Systematica Srl.

Team: Filippo Bazzoni, Rawad Choubassi, Federico Messa, Yahya Shaker A special thanks to all collaborators of Systematica who contributed to this book.

Systematica Srl Transport Planning and Mobility Engineering

Milan Beirut Mumbai

Via Lovanio, 8 20121 - Milan Italy

T + 39 02 62 31 19 1 E

Corso Bueno Aires – Title – June 27, 2018 Axial Map Connectivity – Basemap © Google Earth

A high street and a main urban axis: Corso Buenos Aires could become the most integrated retail street in Europe

Corso Buenos Aires is one of the most important retail streets of Milan: called Corso Loreto until 1906, this infrastructure has always been one of the main gateway to the city of Milan, however, significant changes occurred during the XX century. Despite its significant relevance, Corso Buenos Aires presents several problems that inevitably reduce its potential both as city axis and as retail street. Currently the right of way is fairly consistent, with four vehicular lanes and narrow sidewalks for each side. In some spots, like the blocks near Porta Venezia, the section is wider and the sidewalk is large and enjoyable, however, in other portions, the situation is significantly different with bottlenecks for pedestrians. There are several shops’ typologies along the street and this variety is dominated by large international chain stores with fewer and fewer local or artisanal activities. Its nature, oriented to the large public, determines how big is the potential of this street. Since it is proven that the volume of sales is correlated with the number of passages and with the walking experience, Corso Buenos Aires presents evident margins of improvement that need to be addressed.

With a total length of 1,6km, Corso Buenos Aires has 3,2 km of sidewalks and shop windows. Due to his linear nature the entire area is mainly experienced along his length and the neighbouring network not always continues the retail pattern of the main street. These diagrams study the relation between the street network and the shops. From the segment map, displaying the integration value at 2000m, it is possible to see how Porta Venezia is the most integrated, thus potentially walked, area, while the central part between Piazza Lima and Piazza Argentina is less connected. It is possible to strengthen the relations by upgrading the several shopping galleries along Corso Buenos Aires: the density of the possible routes is one of the tools to deeply enhance the walking experience.

More integrated

Corso Buenos Aires is one of the longest retail streets in Europe. With over 350 shops and outlets, it features the highest concentration of clothing stores in Europe.

P.ta Venezia

Corso Bueno Aires – Title – June 27, 2018 Š Systematica Lima Argentina

P.le Loreto Lima Oberdan

2000m Integration Map

Landuse typology

Retail landuse Abandoned Bank Bar Bookshop Clothing & footwear Electronics shop Flower kiosk Hotel Hypermarket Kiosk Large chain shop Pharmacy Restaurant Small market Small retail shop Special food shop Special service shop Theatre Tobacco shop

Corso Buenos Aires should perform better compared to other Milan High Street shopping venues As one of the main retail street in Milan and Europe, Corso Buenos Aires has a relatively low rent value. A comparison with other retail streets, points out how it is considered as a secondary venue. We believe that Corso Buenos Aires is among the most important shopping venues in Italy and its potential should be fully developed. A report from World Capital highlights how the street demand has grown by +14% during the 1 st semester of 2017 because many brands are starting to consider more valuable the venue.

Source: Italy Retail Market Snapshot First Quarter 2017 Cushman & Wakefield LLP

Via Montenapoleone

Corso Buenos Aires should be in this range Corso Vittorio Emanuele II Corso Venezia Via Manzoni Via Dante Via Torino

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II Corso Vercelli

Corso Buenos Aires

Europe, Luxury routes, prime rents Source: Jones Lang LaSalle, 2011 and in â‚Ź / m² / year

© Systematica

Corso Buenos Aires has one of the highest PTAL score of Milan with 2 metro lines and several bus stops The street is connected with multiple transit modes: the 2 metro lines, the M1 and M2, and the BRT lines, 90 and 91, serve as MRT system linking the retail road with the rest of the city. The other bus and tram routes cross the street from East to West at every major junction and contribute to the integration of Buenos Aires in the surrounding city. There are no bus stop along the street, contrarily to what happens in other main successful shopping streets in Europe.

PTAL score Very poor – 1A Very poor – 1B Poor – 2 Moderate – 3 Good– 4 Very good – 5 Excellent – 6a Excellent – 6b

Mean PTAL score is 20.94 (very good level)

Milan PTAL score

Corso Bueno Aires – Title – June 27, 2018 © Systematica

M1 Loreto M2 Piola

M2 Loreto

BRT 90 91

BUS 39 55 56

M2 Caiazzo BUS 92

BUS 81

M2 Centrale

M3 Repubblica

M1 Lima BUS 60

TRAM 5 33


S1 S2 S5 S6 S10 Porta Venezia

M1 Porta Venezia

Very high pedestrian flows Poor infrastructure Š Systematica

Corso Buenos Aires today

© Systematica

Corso Bueno Aires – Title – June 27, 2018 © Systematica

43% of the sidewalks are narrower than 4 meters

P.le Loreto

The sidewalk width changes significantly in the different sections of the street. The mean width is 5.29m, but it takes into account Piazza Lima and Piazza Argentina, the 2 squares along the street. At every metro exit the width of the sidewalk is reduced and it is not enough to cope with the existing pedestrian flows; this encourage people to walk outside the curbs, in an unsafe situation.

! ! ! Lima 8%




! 13%

Sidewalk width < 2m 2m – 3m 3m – 4m 4m – 5m 5m – 6m 6m – 8m 8m – 12m > 12 m


Acceptable Oberdan Good

! Bottlenecks

Safety should be issue number one: pedestrians cross the street informally in almost every section of the road

Corso Bueno Aires – Title – June 27, 2018 © Systematica

The National Association of City Transportation Officials is a nonprofit association that represents large cities on transportation issues. NACTO’s researches delineate good practice guidelines for street design and transportation.

P.le Loreto

148m Optimal distance is 80 – 100m as per NACTO guidelines


160m Lima


220m Oberdan

© Systematica

Corso Bueno Aires – Title – June 27, 2018 © Systematica

33% of the curbs are reserved to on-street parking

P.le Loreto

Even if a large share of the curb length is destined to short and long term parking, cars tend to park always in double line creating dangerous situations and congestion. We think that a simple increase of the parking provision wouldn’t solve the issue, but a rationalization and a better parking area plan could boost the performance of the street.

X Lima 15% 23%


14% 10%


Curbs’ function Blue parking Resident parking Bike parking Bus stop Taxi stop Building entrance Curb extension Pedestrian space Turning lane


(2678m) (622m) (282m) (211m) (14m) (123m) (99m) (573m) (373m) (419m)

X Oberdan


Absence of parking areas

Traffic volumes in Corso Buenos Aires are modest in the central part, but the inefficiency of the section causes lot of traffic

Road hierarchy Main network – scorrimento Main network – interquartiere Secondary network – di quartere Secondary network – locale interzonale

The carriageway is defined by two lanes per direction that, near the major intersections, widen and accommodates different turn manoeuvres. Even if the section is much larger than needed, Corso Buenos Aires is often congested due to spontaneous parking or irregular U-turns. The downgrade of the axis, which is also planned in the PUMS, and a better organization of the curbs, would prevent irregular behaviours and would regularize the vehicular flow, ultimately reducing congestion. From: PUMS Milano (2017)

Corso Buenos Aires is planned to be downgraded

Corso Bueno Aires – Title – June 27, 2018 © Systematica

P.le Loreto








1003 Lima Oberdan

Traffic volumes < 500 veh/h/dir 500 – 1000 veh/h/dir 1000 – 1500 veh/h/dir > 1500 veh/h/dir

Pollutants and acoustic emissions drastically reduce the walking experience

Acoustic emission 50 – 54 (dBA) 55 – 59 (dBA) 60 – 64 (dBA) 65 – 69 (dBA) 70 – 74 (dBA) > 75 (dBA)

The traffic on Corso Buenos Aires is often slow paced and the emissions of the vehicles threaten the environment and pedestrians. Even if the city guidelines set at 60 dBA the emission limit for area of intense human activity, Corso Buenos Aires reach 75 dBA.

From: AMAT (2016)

Corso Bueno Aires – Title – June 27, 2018 © Systematica

P.le Loreto Lima Oberdan

CO emission < 5 g / hour 5 – 20 g / hour 20 – 50 g / hour 50 – 150 g / hour > 150 g / hour

Corso Bueno Aires – Title – June 27, 2018 © Systematica

Corso Buenos Aires has the highest number of deliveries per day in Milan

Daily deliveries / District < 50 50 - 150 150 - 333 330 – 940 > 940

In a commercial street like Corso Buenos Aires the logistic of the retail and the city needs to be optimized in order to maximize the liveability of the road. The trucks, used for the deliveries, don’t have enough designated loading and unloading areas and usually stop on the sidewalk or in the middle of the carriageway, making vehicular and pedestrian movements more difficult. The absence of a common delivery schedule or system worsens this phenomena and contributes to the existing congestion.

From: PUMS Milano (2017)

The delivery vehicles represent the 11% of the total traffic

Š Systematica

From: AMAT (2002)

Corso Bueno Aires – Title – June 27, 2018

Bicycle usage (Strava) High passages Low passages

The cycling network is not in line with the existing demand

P.le Loreto Lima Oberdan

Bicycle infrastructure BikeMi stations Existing bicycle paths –

Despite being a key cycling corridor, no bikes facilities are provided. The cycle network in the area is discontinuous and disconnected with the surroundings

Induced traffic volumes > 130 90 - 130 50 – 90 20 – 50 < 20 PGT routes network

Corso Buenos Aires is not designed for bicycles. Despite the large demand, there is no cycling infrastructure that would encourage this mode. The cyclists are forced to merge with heavy traffic or to choose less appealing and slower routes. Increasing the number bicycle users is often a key strategy to increase the number of shops’ visitors. From: PUMS Milano (2017)

Corso Bueno Aires – Title – June 27, 2018 © Systematica

4 min by foot

Planned Bicycle infrastructure BikeMi stations Existing bicycle paths – Buildings within 4mins from stations

View of Corso Buenos Aires in 1929

Re-imagining Corso Buenos Aires Š

Less lanes

Better walking

Better cycling

Same parking provision

Current road section

The sidewalks are separated by the 4 lanes carriageway

Active Frontage

Sidewalk width is not adequate for a retail street



2 lanes per direction




1878* ped/hour (both directions)

728 veh/hour Oberdan Lima

P.le Loreto

The pedestrian flow is 23% less on the inactive side*

Cyclists are exposed to traffic since there is no bicycle infrastructure

2 lanes per direction






977 veh/hour

1410* ped/hour (both directions)

Temporary Inactive Front

Walking experience is poor and without resting areas and benches

*Measured on Sunday 15/04/18 between 18:02 and 18:22

Proposed road section Curb as parking spots

The increase of the footfall determines a rise in the retail value

Sai Yeung Choi Street South, Hong Kong


Retail values (net improvement)


bike lane





1 lane per way




865 veh/hour Oberdan Lima

A rationalization of the carriageway optimizes the vehicle flow

Columbus Avenue, New York, USA

+14% Sales (net improvement)

1 lane per way

parking 0.5m

3.2m 562 veh/hour


bike lane





P.le Loreto

Proposed road section Curb as sidewalk

A protected pedestrian environment leads to a sales volume increase

Vanderbilt Avenue, New York, USA

+38% Sales (net improvement)


bike lane






1 lane per way 3.2m 865 veh/hour Oberdan

1 lane per way 3.2m 562 veh/hour Lima


bike lane






P.le Loreto

Proposed road section Curb with kiosk

The separation between bikes and cars improves safety

City center, Ghent, Belgium


Bicycle accidents

bike lane

sidewalk 3.9m





1 lane per way


3.2m 865 veh/hour Oberdan

1 lane per way 3.2m 562 veh/hour

bike lane 0.5m

1.5m Lima

sidewalk 6.25m


P.le Loreto

The downgraded street can manage the traffic demand The downgrade of the street does not affect significantly the traffic along Corso Buenos Aires. The flows tend to distribute along the surrounding network, mainly on Viale Abruzzi (one of the Milan ring road) and on Via Settembrini / Via Benedetto Marcello. The volume / capacity map shows us how the infrastructure is not overload even if its capacity has decreased. This proposal, along with several traffic calming and regulating strategies, could deeply improve the circulation on Corso Buenos Aires. Note: further and more detailed analysis should be carried along different design phases.

An average of 416 vehicles / hour less on Corso Buenos Aires

Traffic volumes / capacity < 0.2 0.2 - 0.4 0.4 – 0.6 0.6 – 0.8 0.8 – 1.0 > 1.0

Impact on trafficCorso Bueno Aires – Title – June 27, 2018 Current


P.le Loreto Lima

Alternative routes are evenly chosen in the surroundings

Fewer vehicles Oberdan

More vehicles

The traffic reduction drops the pollutant emission along the street The CO emission are reduced by the section downgrade since fewer vehicles utilize Corso Buenos Aires. This reduction brings the pollution to a more acceptable level for leisure activities like walking and shopping. The same goes for the acoustic pollution, the fewer the vehicles the less are the emission. Both the acoustic and CO levels can be further reduced with the introduction of trees or other green infrastructures.

Emissions on the whole street are reduced by 1.61kg per hour

The reduced emission per hour are equivalent to 8.18 Boeing 747 take-offs

Impact on environment Corso Bueno Aires – Title – June 27, 2018

P.le Loreto Lima

CO emission (g/hour) Less Oberdan


Fewer vehicles and slower speeds create the sense of safety

Bicycle Infrastructure and % of Crashes


The safety for weaker-users is greatly improved by the infrastructure downgrade. The smaller carriageway, the slower vehicles speed, the protected lanes for the cyclist and the overall better visibility, all contribute to protect the weak user. The effective gained security translates in a sense of safety and relax crucial to leisure activities.

Vehicle Visibility at Different Speeds 15 – 25 kmh 50 m

30 – 40 kmh 43 m

50 – 55 kmh

37 m

27 m 60+ kmh

From: Urban Street Design Guide - NACTO speed

Impact on safety Corso Bueno Aires – Title – June 27, 2018

Assessment of proposal

Protected bicycle lane on 8th and 9th Avenues (New York, USA)

47% decrease in injuries to all street users From: Measuring the Street – NYC Department of Transportation (2012)

Traffic calming on East 180th Street (New York, USA)

67% decrease in pedestrian crashes From: Measuring the Street – NYC Department of Transportation (2012)

Curb extension to reduce crossing distance

6% increase in chance of pedestrian crashes every additional meter of crossing distance From: City Safer by Design – World Resources Institute (2015)

Improving visibility between cyclists and vehicles

77% increase in sense of safety with visible stopping point at intersection From: City Safer by Design – World Resources Institute (2015)

The increase of pedestrian footfall activates the retail sales

The retail volume is directly correlated to the number of passage in front of the shops. Improving the walking experience on Corso Buenos Aires would increase the footfall, bringing more customers to the existing shops and stimulating further investment. This process will start a series of event such as the increase in the rental values and, most likely, a process of improvement of the whole district.

Impact on economy Corso Bueno Aires – Title –

Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn • Dedicated cycling infrastructure • Pedestrian safety islands • Tree-lined median • Streetscapes improvements • Curbside management

Columbus Avenue, Manhattan • Cross-section modification • Mixing zones • Bicycle signals • 27, Pedestrian June 2018safety islands From: New York - DOT

Assessment of proposal

Street improvements + 35% Pedestrian Volume from +20% to +40% Pedestrian Volume (Hass-Klau, 1993)

(Strøget, Copenaghen, Denmark)

+ 32% Pedestrian Volume (Pearson, 2000)

Increase in footfall + 17% Retail Value

Improvements spread to the neighbourhood

(Hong Kong, Yiu, 2011)

+ 18% Sales (New York, DOT)

+ 38% Sales (New York, DOT)

Increase in sales 9.6% Rent to Sales ratio (REAL ESTATE ISSUES)

Increase rental values

Increase in Real Estate Values