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Going 'Verde' with Lord Foster

'Milan', blurbles the Evening Standard in today's Homes & Property Italy and Switzerland special (mercifully not available online) 'is synonymous with style'.

But presumably not with good judgement, because, the piece continues, the Milanesi are planning their own 120ha 'green' district – Milano Santa Giulia – which will feature those lynchpins of sustainability: Iranian marble, outdoor swimming pools, and 'kitchen tables that convert into a cocktail bar at the flick of a switch'.

In fact the only sustainable element mentioned in the piece is 'a pneumatic waste-disposal system that transports residents' rubbish to a central area for recycling', and exactly how this rubbish train will help cut carbon emissions is unclear.

And who have they turned to to deliver this new town? Why, none other than the man who plonked a giant glass triangle in Kazakhstan; the man who thought it would be a great idea to turn a great swathe of the Libyan desert into 'the world's largest sustainable region' for Colonel Gaddafi's son, yup, our very own Norman Foster.

However, judging by the horrendous designs used to illustrate the piece, Norm was presumably a little too distracted by Milan's shopping opportunities (so much better than Astana) to keep an eye on what his studio was producing.

If you want to live in the Milton Keynes of Milan; the Luton of Lombardy, and consider yourself to be among the 'international market of sophisticates' being targeted by the Italian estate agents, visit

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