The winning entry by an international design team will be used as the masterplan for the redevelopment of Milan’s industrial Porta Romana district. Named ‘Parco Romana’, the urban-scale redevelopment project will see the transformation of the former railway yard into a green public space. The design team includes OUTCOMIST, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, PLP Architecture and Carlo Ratti Associati with Gross. Max., Nigel Dunnett Studio, Arup, Portland Design, Systematica, Studio Zoppini, Aecom, Land and Artelia.  

The masterplan proposes to celebrate the industrial legacy of the site by reanimating it with contemporary programs centred on an ethos of sustainability. The scheme rethinks a large, disused railway yard that has divided the area for more than a century, says design studio Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R).

“As a connective tissue, it stitches together a fragmented urban realm, reconnecting surrounding neighbourhoods with a vibrant mixed-use district rooted in the principles of inclusivity, biodiversity, resiliency, connectivity and wellbeing,” the studio explained.

Parco Romana will be built around a new ‘Great Park’ that will serve as the green heart of the development. The park will be designed as a unique topographic feature that will extend over the active railway that currently bisects the site, creating an accessible and multifunctional green space for the neighbourhood. The existing railway infrastructure will be used to create an elevated greenway called The Suspended Forest, which will include hundreds of trees and provide dedicated walking routes with unexpected views overlooking the surrounding area. A biodiverse woodland and wetland Eco-zone interspersed with community gardens runs alongside the tracks at grade, providing space for communal activities focused on health and wellbeing.

A mixed-use residential district at the western edge will be developed to house the Milan 2026 Winter Olympics participants, following which it will be adapted into a permanent intergenerational residential community. This area also includes a major public piazza that anchors a variety of flexible environments for outdoor exercise, food trucks, co-working, and cultural events – all integrated inside and around renovated historic train repair sheds.

Given the site’s high-profile location and excellent local connectivity, the project will include extensive mobility solutions that integrate with and expand upon existing local infrastructure. Inspired by the 15 Minute City concept, Parco Romana will aim to provide everything needed for daily life within a short walk from the district’s living and working environments.

Images: Courtesy of the design team