The City, The River, The Hill

Contest of ideas.

Some initiatives for city protection programs aimed at reorganizing and lightening car traffic can be identified coming from the administration. These programs foresee an increase in public transportation, the design of new bicycle paths, the construction of new pedestrian areas, and the placement of decentralized parking with an inter-modal function. The main goal is to create a more livable city by offering solutions to the growing concern for air and noise pollution, and by giving citizens public spaces for meeting and socializing activities.

In line with these intentions, our proposal for the “ideas competition” did not consider attributing a preponderant role to increasing car traffic by designing invasive infrastructures that would risk producing the opposite result with respect to the desired and expected urban character. These considerations prompted us to find the right balance between the need to increase traffic flow and the need to protect and create habitable urban environments. Our intervention is based on six main choices:

  1. Do not foresee a new bridge in the continuation of Corso San Maurizio.
  2. Encourage the relationship between the two banks of the Po with pedestrian walkways.
  3. Reduce the environmental impact of access ramps to the required underpass, moving it away from Piazza della Gran Madre.
  4. Transform the Corso Casale into an urban “allée” full of activities and green spaces.
  5. Create a new Michelotti Park dedicated to children, culture, and events.
  6. Complete the activities present in the Murazzi and on the river banks with specific interventions with a particular daytime function.

In a nutshell, with our proposal, on one hand, we intend to achieve a profound innovation of the relationship that the city has with the river banks and, on the other, we intend to enhance the urban sequence represented by the axis between Piazza Vittorio and Villa della Regina. The solution identified intends to facilitate a faster traffic flow in a north-south direction by reorganizing the road network of the district without producing fractures and separations between the different parts of the city and without compromising the large rows of centuries-old trees. By creating opportunities for meeting and socializing spaces along the right bank of the river and along Corso Casale, correspondence with the spaces of the Murazzi is set up, enclosing the river path between two opposing strong moments of centrality.

The two walkways that flank the historic bridge, proposing themselves in the dual guise of pedestrian connectors and “purifying machines”, propose the theme of environmental protection of the city in an original way. The pedestrian walkways will offer the relationship between the green banks of the Po a much more seductive character of urbanity than what could be generated by a car bridge. This new condition gives the Michelotti Park, today almost marginalized by the city, a new pre-eminent role as an urban green space of mediation. The goal, underlying the multidisciplinary design experiment presented here, is to prefigure an ecologically optimal city, which recovers the pedestrian and civil coexistence dimension to become peacefully habitable.

Project team:

Derossi Associati (Pietro Derossi, Paolo Derossi, Davide Derossi)




Contest of ideas