Urban Up |Unipol launches the “INOLTRE. Sharing the city” project to regenerate Milan suburbs

A significant project to regenerate Milan suburbs

Milan, July 21, 2020 PRESS RELEASE

A significant project that will extend over 300,000 sq m to give three outlying city suburbs opportunities for social occasions, culture, debate and research along with a series of architectural and artistic installations.

Currently in the works:

  • a masterplan for the Bruzzano area (76,000 sq m) with the goal of building a healthcare and residential centre
  • a masterplan for Via Stephenson (currently 47,000 sq m to be developed) to be used for the services industry, mainly for offices and commercial spaces
  • business parks in both Via dei Missaglia (110,000 sq m) and Via Senigallia (50,000 sq m)

At a time when everyone needs a fresh start, participatory projects favouring social inclusion are important to help foster new functional purposes and value enhancement to create new social and cultural opportunities for everyone in suburban areas outside the city centre where they are normally sought.

This gave rise to the ambitious goals of “INOLTRE. Sharing the city”, the Urban Up| Unipol project that aims to raise the value of the Milan hinterland by changing perceptions, transforming the neighbourhoods into a workshop project featuring micro-architecture, design, applied research and events put on for the local residents. We chose this name to highlight both the inclusive approach (IN) and the need to surmount the centre- suburb divide (OLTRE) and renegotiate the identity of the individual neighbourhoods with respect to all inhabitants.

Giuseppe Lobalsamo, Head of the Real Estate Department of the Unipol Group said “In addition to developing over 100,000 sq m in the heart of Milan, we want the INOLTRE project to show our engagement with regeneration of the city suburbs. In accordance with a two-year commitment, we aim to add value to the three municipal areas 5, 8 and 9 of Milan where the Unipol Group owns 3 assets of vital importance in the context of development of the urban fabric: 2 business parks in Via dei Missaglia (110,000 sq m) and Via Senigallia (50,000 sq m) and 1 brownfield land area in Via Stephenson (47,000 sq m) where a gross surface area of 90,000 sq m is planned for development subject to approval of an implementing plan. A masterplan is currently been drawn up for this area which will possibly gain in value due to the planned “Stephenson” stop on the Milan underground railway link. The area will be used for the services industry, mainly offices and commercial areas.”

Giuseppe Lobalsamo continued “The Via Senigallia area is an asset of strategic importance for the Unipol Group. An invited competition was launched to design a masterplan for the Bruzzano area (76,000 sq m gross surface area) to build a new urban centre in this suburban area to enhance the value of the entire neighbourhood. Some of the most important architectural firms in the world were involved, and a shortlist was drawn up, with the winner soon to be chosen. The area will be dedicated to healthcare, including healthcare services: a healthcare centre is planned (for a total of about 35,000 sq m) with a range of residential facilities and services aimed at the younger market and young professionals”.
As such, the project will be developed in tandem with the reflections and projects already started by the public authorities through the Neighbourhood Plan, sharing and strengthening values and purposes.

INOLTRE aims to be an international, interdisciplinary Think Tank that will support the entire project and ensure consistency between the ethics of the various actions and sustainability. It will include people from the world of academia and the general public, businesspersons and professionals including internationally famous designers such as David Chipperfield and Ben Val Berkel.

Maria Luisa Parmigiani, Head of Sustainability and Stakeholder Management of the Unipol Group and member of the INOLTRE Think Tank said “The Unipol Group is using the INOLTRE project to place itself at the frontier of those who are working to make the city a centre of excellence in sustainable development: social inclusion and environmental improvement inspired by liveable spaces starting from multistakeholder participation. This action is in line with the strategic system adopted in 2019 that identifies the contribution to Goal 11 of the UN 2030 Agenda as one of the three priorities that will make an impact and uses the creation of shared value as the main stimulus in business development”.

3 places, 3 values, 3 areas of research and 3 lines of action.
These are the paradigms of the approach that the Unipol Group wishes to use with INOLTRE to convert the concept of urban enhancement into action, demonstrating its commitment to places that are wrongly considered as marginal. Each of the three neighbourhoods will form the backdrop for specific activities that reflect their individual identities by taking a tactical urbanism approach that makes social interaction a key element in the process of developing the city.

Sustainability, health and inclusion are the three values that underlie the entire project, set out into 3 areas of research, one for each place: health and wellbeing in post-global and post-pandemic cities in Via Senigallia; art and design in relation to climate change in Via Stephenson; capitalising on common urban assets in relation to the local communities in Via dei Missaglia.

Giuseppe Lobalsamo went on to say “Outlying areas, which are isolated and difficult to reach, abandoned or underused can take on a positive role in the post-healthcare emergency phase using solutions that do not have to be definitive and that are created with or on behalf of the local communities. Temporary actions, but linked to our physical and mental wellbeing: culture, entertainment, sport and nature.

INOLTRE will be organised into three lines of action in the territory. The first involves research and disclosure, carried out jointly in partnership with many national and international universities - especially the University of Pavia - focused on taking stock of urban transformations in relation to global challenges in order to develop activities on the ground, the collection and analysis of the data, and interdisciplinary focus groups with experts and stakeholders. A final conference open to the public will share the results of the research on global challenges in relation to development of the territory.

The second line of action involves a series of workshops organised by YAC - Young Architects Competition - through the cooperation of some of the most important names in art and architecture; they will create micro-architectural installations in the neighbourhoods with the aim of triggering ethical use, bringing authorial architecture to the outlying areas of the city where it doesn’t usually appear. The first workshop will start in October in the Via Senigallia area and will be supervised by architect Michele De Lucchi; it will revolve around the creation of one or more products that relate to wellbeing.

Finally, the third line of action will involve a series of artistic, musical, sporting or educational events in keeping with the goals of each area, to help the public reclaim similar areas with a view towards reusing the spaces that will take on a new temporary function.

The INOLTRE project was launched in Municipal Area 9 through the temporary reuse of an abandoned suburban area. Urban UP | Unipol is the main, hosting sponsor of the DRIVE IN MILANO project between 24 June and 16 August which made an abandoned parking lot in Via Senigallia 18 available to be used on a temporary basis by the local community. The festival features 44 days of screenings with a diverse film programme schedule including a number of films from the Unipol BiograFilm Collection.

The project will form part of the summer events of the Municipality of Milan - “ARIA DI CULTURA” - and provides entertainment to the inhabitants of the neighbourhood and the city while maintaining social distancing rules after the long lockdown. The action will be both charitable (entry is free with a contribution of €2 that will be donated to the Mutual Assistance Fund of the Municipality of Milan) and sustainable (green transport is encouraged with the front rows reserved to bicycles, electric cars and hybrid cars).