The Agenti Climatici proposal for the redevelopment of two disused railway yards north and south of the periphery of Milan serves as the opportunity to discuss the contemporary challenges an urban project has to consider.
In a moment of dramatic environmental transformation and permanent economic uncertainty, our priorities have changed. The most valuable currency is no longer ‘brick’ – built volumes – but rather the climatic conditions that cities will be able to provide and ensure for their citizens. The 20th-century city, with its high energy consumption, must be superseded by reconsidering the principles that have marked urban development since the classical era.
In an ideal transformation of the current models of economic development, our project reverses the perspective and proposes two new environmental devices: one green – a large linear forest at Scalo Farini, able to cool the warm winds coming from the south-west and purify the air of the most toxic particles; the other blue – a long linear system in San Cristoforo for water purification, which defines a landscape for human and non-human realities.
In this new value system, public space – including water, greenery and bridges – is fixed, and buildings are residual and uncertain. In Farini, a new urban grid strategically studded with a system of public spaces ensures maximum flexibility, while the city of Milan offers resilient settlement models that can be adapted to the shocks of the global economy. San Cristoforo becomes a common ground on the metropolitan scale for the human and non-human community.
The competition was organized by the public transport companies Ferrovie dello Stato, FS Sistemi Urbani S.r.l. and RFI, in collaboration with the municipality of Milan, the Lombardy region and the developer Coima SGR. Other finalists in the competition included Baukuh, Arup, Grimshaw, and Kengo Kuma and Associates Europe.