Milan: a cycling city on the rise

Nov 10, 2018, 20:19 PM

Milan is known as one of the world’s capitals of art and fashion. As far as sport is concerned, it houses two prestigious football clubs. But inhabitants of this Italian metropolis are also increasingly embracing cycling; not only as a sport and recreational activity, but also a stylish way to travel through the city.

Indeed, this bustling, dynamic city in the north of Italy appears to be on the cusp of a cycling revolution. That is one of the reasons why the UCI has chosen to host the inaugural edition of the UCI Bike City Forum presented by Pirelli in the city. Cycling campaigners, urbanists, policy makers and stakeholders will gather at the headquarters of Pirelli on November 14 to debate the future of active mobility.

Convinced of the power of cycling, the City Council of Milan is working to develop and expand the city’s cycling infrastructure. Efforts are being made to integrate the bicycle into public transport networks, and given the size of Milan and its wider region, cycling is also being viewed as an integral aspect of regional inter-modality. The city already operates a bike sharing service BikeMi, which has docks across Milan and is growing in popularity.

Beyond urban transportation, Milan is ideally located for longer-distance bicycle touring and road riding: it is within striking distance of some of Italy’s legendary climbs, such as the Madonna del Ghisallo, Mortirolo Pass and Stelvio Pass.

The city in Lombardy is also home to the iconic Velodromo Vigorelli, which hosted numerous UCI Hour Record attempts and UCI Track Cycling World Championships during the 1950s and 60s. Restored and re-opened in 2016, the Vigorelli is a developing focal point for cycling in the city.

The Milano Bike City festival took place for the first time this year, from September 15 to 30. Across the city, events were organised to celebrate cycling in all forms and motivate the population and visitors to get involved. Taking place during European Mobility Week, an EU initiative, the festival provided a fitting opportunity to promote cycling as central to the future of sustainable urban mobility.

With the UCI Bike City Forum, the UCI is seeking to further develop cycling for all, at the same time engaging with Milan as the city works to grow cycling as a tool for sustainable development.