100-year-old railway yard turned into a green space

Parco Romana is a redevelopment project on an urban scale in the Porta Romana district of Milan. The international team behind it includes OUTCOMIST, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, PLP Architecture, Carlo Ratti Associati, and Arup. They just won a competition to design it, beating 46 other teams representing nearly 330 studios.

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Parco Romana’s design reinterprets a 100-year-old railway yard. It brings together an urban space that has been divided by a railyard, reconnecting the surrounding neighborhoods to a mixed-use area.

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Picture of a park where two people are walking

Parco Romana will revolve around a large central park, creating an accessible and multifunctional green space for the neighbourhood. The Hanging Forest, an elevated, linear green road being built on existing rail infrastructure, will contain hundreds of trees that hang over hiking trails. An integrated wetland and woodland with community gardens will run alongside paths at ground level.

Green garden space with people working on it

The select team collaborates with Gross.Max, Nigel Dunnett Studio, LAND for Landscape Design, Systematica for Mobility, Studio Zoppini, Aecom for Olympic Consulting, and Artelia for Art Consulting and Portland Design to develop the brand and story. A consortium comprising COIMA, Covivio and Prada Holding will develop the park.

Many people are walking around under the Olympic symbol

On the western edge, a mixed-use residential area will temporarily house the athletes for the Milan 2026 Winter Olympics. After the Olympics, it will be adapted into a permanent, multi-generational residential community. This area also includes a major public plaza with spaces for outdoor exercise, food trucks, co-working, and public events.

Interior path with glass ceiling filters light into the building

“Parco Romana brings the latest ideas about the 15-minute city to Milan, with the aim of providing everything you need for everyday life within walking distance of the area’s working and living environments,” said Carlo Rati Associati. “The focus on pedestrians and cycling reduces reliance on cars and activates new pathways to and through the site, forming walkways integrated with new public plazas that act as natural gathering places at the intersection of major pedestrian routes.”

A grove of trees with people walking through them

Parco Romana will build its community around the values ​​of decarbonization, climate adaptation, resilient societies, health and well-being, circular economy and biodiversity. The design will take full advantage of low-carbon construction and renewable energy.

+ Carlo Rati Associati

Photos via Carlo Rati Associati

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