Porto di Mare in Milan has many environmental, social and economic problems, such as poor air quality, low incomes and segregation between migrant communities. This, together with a lack of amenities, has led to a high crime rate and a widespread sense of insecurity. But through community consultation, IMMdesignlab is hoping to create an Ecodistrict to holistically regenerate the area.
IMMdesignlab’s intervention will house 6,000–10,000 people in the 173-hectare Ecodistrict on the urban, southeastern edge of the city. It will include social housing, areas where peri-urban agriculture can be established, and form a gateway to the open, green spaces of the nearby Parco Sud Milano.
Using a community-driven approach and working with experts and local authorities, IMMdesignlab’s aim with the Ecodistrict is to regenerate the area’s housing stock in a holistic way, reconnecting the community with the landscape of which they are a part, and – in time – generate economic activities. As already experienced in many European cities, Ecodistricts can also become popular with tourists, thereby improving the local economy.
IMMdesignlab is an international and multidisciplinary design laboratory for urban sustainability, driven by the principle that urban design can directly affect the quality of our environment, improve energy performance as well as the quality of people’s lives by making our future more sustainable and responsible. If successful, its work in Porto di Mare may be replicable in other parts of the city.
“During the preparations for the project the academic community has been involved in a commendable way. The problem is a tough one, but if successful, it will have wider significance.”
– Vivek Monteiro
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