There are some areas of Milan that in recent years have been the object of the energies and efforts of many institutions and cultural operators in the city. Their collaboration has produced a concentration of social and cultural projects that have focused attention on specific neighborhoods and started spontaneous processes of improvement of the areas concerned, favoring the action of public administrations in the development of projects to apply for public funding.

Among these emerges the project Via Padova Mondo, concerning the restoration of a railway tunnel along Via Padova within a larger intervention that involves the whole Via Pontano and four other railway tunnels. This street, known as an open-air gallery for urban arts since the nineties, is at the center of a new participatory intervention promoted within the Lacittàintorno program of Fondazione Cariplo, in collaboration with the Municipality of Milan.

The initiative shows how there are new ways to transform the city, with simple tools and collective actions, distributed over time, born from the dialogue between citizens, institutions, associations. This approach -which comes from a reflection on cultural initiatives as a tool for regeneration- is promoted by the Foundation with the program that involves the inhabitants of fragile urban contexts in the reactivation and re-signification of unused or degraded spaces, in order to improve the quality of life and create “new geographies” of the city.

Within the project Via Padova Mondo, carried out in collaboration with the Municipality of Milan and its public project “Piazze Aperte”, the collaboration agreement (Tunnel Boulevard) has been used as a tool to engage the social organizations in the area in order to regenerate the entire route of Via Pontano (which connects Via Padova and Viale Monza) with shared activities of social design, public art and urban art involving five railway tunnels.

The aim is to make the path safer and at the same time to give value to the works present: the first public art gallery in a tunnel in Milan was inaugurated on December 2, 2021 with the art project ” travel diary” by Pablo Pinxit. In the spaces adjacent to the tunnel will take place in the coming months various social activities: outdoor performances and other performing arts, temporary installations of urban art, recreational events related to the culture of wellness and care of the green, as well as collective moments of cleaning and collection of waste abandoned in the surrounding areas.

The project involves Fondazione Cariplo and partners (MAPEI spa, YUME srl, Fineco Bank, Litoart) under the direction of the Municipality of Milan, Metropolitana Milanese and A2A, thanks to the commitment and initiative of associations active in the area: Associazione T12-Lab, Cooperativa Sociale Comin, B-CAM Cooperativa Sociale, ComunicareArte Atelier Spazio Xpò.