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The metropolitan area of Milan has 3,8 million inhabitants. During the last 20-30 years, the municipality of Milan is being experiencing a constant loss of population which is accompanied by a radical process of de-industrialisation of the city (manu-facture employees has been reduced to one third).

The de-industrialisation process does not affect the entire production sector. The metropolitan core is still very attractive for the new innovative, high tech activities, with natural vocation to research and with need of high specialised employees, for some "traditional" high tech industries (as tailoring, leather, jewellery, graphics and publishing) and for Commerce and Services To Business (Sectors related to banking and insurance)

The population of the city is now 1,3 million inhabitants on an area of 182 km2. As in most important cities of industrialised countries, the phenomenon of the loss of popu-lation is statistically relevant. On the other hand, many municipalities in the hinterland have experienced an opposite tendency: most of all the historically rural ones in the south and in the west of Milan region.

Changes in the socio-economic structure of the whole area led (but it is still an on-going process) to changes in the mobility patterns within, and sometimes outside, the metropolitan area: from a centripetal pattern (with focus on Milan) to a centrifugal one (with focus on the metropolitan area). Such changes were not supported by an effi-cient transport supply, except for the road network (with the building of the external ring roads), and public transport is still designed according to the "historical" radial patterns within the metropolitan area.

photo of helsinki