A damaging move

July 6, 2017

The rector of the University of Milan has proposed to move to Rho, an area outside Milan that hosted Expo 2015, several scientific departments that are now established in “Città Studi”. In this, he has the backing of the mayor of Milan, the governor of Lombardy and a former prime minister. The scientific community is aware that such a move will severely damage not only the University of Milan but also the entire science and technology belt from Monza to San Donato along the banks of Lambro River in eastern Milan. The University of Milan is the core of this belt, which includes the Polytechnic University of Milan, several national research centres, institutes of technology and other institutions, as well as a number of major scientific health institutes.

The campus of the university and that of the polytechnic university were established in 1931 after a comprehensive programme to reclaim a former agricultural area. The area has since developed into a bustling site with buildings for halls of residence, university departments and others accommodating the polytechnic university and research laboratories under an integrated design offering a unique example of “mixité” of function: people, culture, science and technology. In the core area alone, some 20,000 students and more than 3,000 research and teaching staff work every day.

Città Studi is a leading example of an urban college ensemble in a European city. Needless to say, there is a strong opposition to such a move, from scientists as well as from local residents, because of a strong risk of disrupting the area and destroying the web of science built up over 90 years.

Pier Giorgio Righetti
Professor of chemistry, materials and chemical engineering
Polytechnic University of Milan
Renzo Rosso
Professor in the department of civil and environmental engineering
Polytechnic University of Milan
Riccardo Ghidoni
Professor in the Faculty of Health


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