Joined the programme in 2018

Since Milan joined the Cities Changing Diabetes in 2018, 23 of the city’s major municipalities, accounting for 65% of the population, have formed the Cities Changing Diabetes Milan Metropolitan Network with the ambition to share projects and better practices on how city planning and intervention programmes can improve quality of life for its residents. 

Over a quarter (27.5%) of the population in Milan is overweight.1 In addition, 12.1% of men and 8.6% of women live with obesity.2 The diabetes prevalence of 5.75% in Milan is likely to increase if something is not done to address the prevalence of overweight and obesity1.

The diabetes challenge in Milan



of adults in Milan are living with diabetes1



of men in Milan live with obesity2





of women in Milan live with obesity2



of the population in Milan is overweight1

In early 2020, Cities Changing Diabetes Milan launched the Milano Diabetes Atlas, which contains the quantitative research collected during the mapping phase of the Cities Changing Diabetes programme. Based on this research and in collaboration with the Municipality of Milan, the University of Milan, the Health City Institute and more than 80 experts, the city of Milan drew up the Cities Changing Diabetes Action Plan 2022 – 2025. This action plan outlines proposals to guide joint action in tackling the challenge of diabetes and health inequalities in urban areas


Integrating health into policymaking

To support local authorities in their efforts to incorporate health into policymaking, Cities Changing Diabetes, with the support of Associazione Nazionale Comuni Italiani, organised a special Health City Manager master course. The purpose of this course was to empower a group of individuals so that they might be able to help local authorities in their efforts to integrate health into policymaking.


Combatting loneliness during COVID-19

During lockdown, many elderly have been isolated in their home, unable to go out and with limited contact with loved ones. To combat loneliness caused by COVID-19-induced isolation, SENIOR ITALIA in Rome and Milan – a partner of Cities Changing Diabetes - launched a new initiative with the Italian Society of Emergency Psychology: a national freephone number dedicated to elderly people living on their own. Experts from the Italian Society of Emergency Psychology have listened to and supported to improve the psychophysical health of the elderly during the lockdown period.


Making Milan an Olympic Active City

Inspired by Cities Changing Diabetes in Rome, Milan has created 34 walking routes around the city to encourage citizens to engage in more physical activity. These walking routes, which cover 175 kilometres, highlight some of the city’s famous landmarks and green spaces. Milan is looking to become the first Olympic Active City when it hosts the XXV Winder Olympic Games in 2026. It plans to create an additional 133 walking routes (one for each municipality) by the start of the 2026 Olympics


"Cities Changing Diabetes has been promoted to enhance the prevention of chronic diseases, particularly diabetes, caused by the impact of urbanisation. It’s necessary that policymakers be more sensible on urban health topics and find better prevention policies and improve the care network."

 Giuseppe Sala, Mayor of Milan


Download Milan’s Urban Diabetes Declaration



Censis Foundation Centres for Outcomes Research and Clinical Epidemiology (CORESEARCH) 



Diabete Italia


Fitwalking Association 

Health City Institute 

Humanitas University 

BDO Foundation 

Institute for Competitiveness (I-COM) 

Italian Association of Diabetics and Clinical Nutrition 

Italian Diabetes Society 

Italian Diabetologist Association 

Italian Municipalities Association 

Italian Obesity Association 

Italian Society of GPs 

Italian Society of Paediatric Endos 

IULM University 

Lombardy Patient Association Federation 

Lombardy Region 


Milan City Municipality 

National Institute for Health 

National Institute of Statistics 

Obesity Study and Research Centre 

University of Milan 

Parliamentary Intergroup on QoL in Cities 

Polytechnic University of Milan 

Science and Technology Museum 

University of Bocconi of Milan 

University of Milan 

University of Milano-Bicocca 

University Vita Salute S.Raffaele of Milan


Luzi L, Carruba M, Crialesi R, et al. Telemedicine and urban diabetes during COVID-19 pandemic in Milano, Italy during lock-down: epidemiological and sociodemographic picture. Acta Diabetologica. 2021/07/01 2021;58(7):919-927. doi:10.1007/s00592-021-01700-2


Istat Multiscopo. Reworked Istat Multiscopo data (2013, 2015, 2016). Accessed January, 2020