Public policies and public-private sector networking to improve urban commerce - Commerce plays a social protection role and can give quality to a city and a community or subtract from it and attribute meaning and character to places or render them banal in a standardised landscape. Intervention to improve shops and businesses open to the public can support more general urban regeneration processes and may be implemented through public policies. One interesting case for reference is that of the Business Improvement Districts (BID), which include that of Paddington in London. The Region of Lombardy has recently organised a competition for funding for projects which improve commercial activities and public establishments in geographical areas identified as business districts (urban or more regional). The organiser of the project which involves businesses and the local context they are set in is the municipality, which, however, is obliged to apply in partnership with at least that association which represents most of the businesses operating in commerce. The mix of commerce, crafts and innovative service industries is a specific trait of the Milan metropolitan area which is described as a possible area in which to activate urban regeneration processes.