What if we use the ‘scali’ – railway yards – and their connecting infrastructure to improve the mobility of Milan in order to generate new opportunities for the city as a whole? This is the main question guiding Mecanoo’s vision for the seven scali of Milan.
As multi-modal hubs, the scali will act as places to live, work and connect for all generations in Milan and further afield. They are connected via rapid transport linkages and fine-grained green pedestrian and cycling networks, to one another, to the city as a whole, and to the wider region.
Mecanoo formulated five principles to guide the sustainable development of the city. First, by transforming the scali into mobility hubs with multiple transport systems, they become catalyst for sustainable living. This will stimulate a faster, more efficient way of moving through the city, and decrease the reliance on cars.
The second principle is to create urban car-free areas, freeing up space for biking lanes, pedestrians and generous green zones. This will help to reinvent the city based on the human scale. Thirdly, a green circle line of bike lanes connecting the different scali will turn the railway into a destination that is well integrated within the urban system. Activities and new functions along this circle line will result in an attractive place which connects instead divides the city.
The fourth principle relates to social connectivity. Changing Milan into an urban environment where infrastructure, housing and public facilities work in unison, will establish an inclusive city that is prepared for future change. Finally, by turning the scali into landmarks of mobility they will become focus points and vibrant places where people enjoy being, working and living.
The scali will be the catalyst for a radical transformation of Milan, creating the circular and sustainable city of the future, a city based on connectivity, of people, of places, of opportunities and ambitions.