The MiMo cycleway is the virtuous example of the smart city of the future

Although it is lagging behind other European countries, Italy is catching up with futuristic projects that blend green mobility, sustainability and urban redevelopment

Home road bicycles The MiMo cycleway is the virtuous example of the smart city of the future

The MiMo urban redevelopment project, a 15-kilometre-long corridor from Monza to Milan through Sesto San Giovanni, was presented about a year ago by Bikenomist, a company specialising in communications and consulting on cycling matters, assisted by the mobility managers of Pirelli and other businesses. It could be the world's first metropolitan greenway, with trees and meadows, a cycle path and dedicated public transport lanes also relaunched by the mobility managers of Pirelli and other Bicocca companies. Inspired by the Turia linear park in Valencia, MiMo is closely connected to the Bicocca district where the Pirelli headquarters are located. For this reason, the company wants to contribute purposefully to turning the area into an innovative green hub, supporting innovative initiatives for its people, together with University and other companies in the same area.

Studies indicate that MiMo, which may have already encountered the favour of the Municipality of Milan, could be completed in 2030 and change the lives of at least 75 thousand people living in the area. The greenway would have a direct positive impact on many environmental problems, including heat islands, CO2 emissions and flooding, and also decrease social issues and urban decay. The five thousand trees would guarantee a reduction in the temperature of about three degrees centigrade in the buildings along the route, absorbing about one thousand tons of carbon dioxide per year. Additionally, the creation of a robust cycling infrastructure, with dedicated routes and cycle stations, would be a real incentive to smart mobility, reducing greenhouse gas emissions even further.

As often in cases like these, the environmental benefits go hand-in-hand with economic ones. Estimates show that the redevelopment brought about by the green corridor from Milan to Monza would increase the value of the real estate by between 12 and 23 per cent, while the turnover of businesses scattered along the way could increase by between 35 and 55 per cent. In other words, previously marginal and abandoned areas would become attractive.

The greenway and bicycle lane project between Lombardy's capital and some major towns of its hinterland is a virtuous example of what the smart cities of the future: metropolises with large green spaces, connected to their suburbs by cycle paths dedicated to soft mobility and zero-emissions transports. Although Italy is unquestionably lagging behind other European countries in terms of cycling infrastructure, MiMo could become the benchmark for guiding other ambitious urban redevelopment plans, with a gaze fixed on the future to tackle the challenges of today's world.