In 2015, Milan hosted the EXPO in an area of 1 million m², with over 22 million visitors.
What will become of the area? Carlo Ratti Associati, an architecture and design firm from Torino, won the competition with a project intending to give new life to the site.
The master plan provides for the development of a Science, Knowledge and Innovation Park serving as an innovation hub in Milan that includes offices, research centers, university facilities, residences, cultural spaces and areas for urban agriculture. The approach of CRA is open and inclusive: the buildings are designed to be reconfigured and change destination according to the needs.
Following the principle that the health of a district depends largely on the vitality of its public spaces, the project proposes a common ground which winds through all the areas of the masterplan – on which squares and pedestrian areas alternate, gardens and shops, laboratories and court buildings, in a continuous exchange between open and closed, public or more collected environments.
Ratti explains his idea of the city as an engine of innovation, “The first aspect is how we started from the decumano, this large strip of asphalt that acts as a distributor belt on the site and transforms it into a large linear park. Nature returning to the city center. The second aspect is how the lower levels of the buildings will become common ground, a shared space of interaction. Not a private space but a space that is open to citizens and anyone who wants to enter and enjoy the site. Another important focus is mobility, we know that urban mobility in the 1900s was based on the automobile. In the next few years cars will change drastically because of new technologies, they will become self-driving, this means a different mobility system in which the same machine gives a ride to one person, then another and then another. Expo is perhaps one of the first major urban centers in the world that has been conceived with this in mind from the beginning, a new type of mobility, based on autonomy.”