LAND presented Parco Unione to the city of Sesto S. Giovanni, the first step of the large park that will be realized as part of the transformation of the former Falck areas, now the most extensive urban redevelopment project in Italy and one of the largest in Europe as of today, covering 1.5 million square metres.
Sustainable development, productivity, and historical memory are the themes underlying the masterplan for the former Falck areas, a project promoted by a partnership between Hines, Cale Street Partners and the Prelios Group.
In this context, Parco Unione by LAND is a green system of about 13.5 hectares, stretching from the Station to Viale Italia, rich in new functions and, at the same time, linked to the industrial past, with the application of Nature Based Solutions – which today represent the most efficient and economical strategies to guarantee the correct use of resources and energy while ensuring the functioning of ecosystems.
Parco Unione will involve the creation of one of the largest parks in the Milan metropolitan area, linked Parco Nord and Parco Media Valle del Lambro by cycle paths and trails, and the project confronts the multiplicity of elements in the Sesto San Giovanni area: the matrix of the historic fabric, the most recent productive transformations, the great infrastructural signs of the railway line, and Viale Italia.
The structure of the functions of Parco Unione is defined by a main loop intersected by thematic loops. Each loop has its own uniqueness linked to the theme it represents, referring to a well-defined and identifiable category of users.
Alongside the definition of loops as circular routes, the park is also articulated through the theming of the different areas with a specific vocation each: neighbourhood spaces that can guarantee services and recreation areas for future inhabitants, refreshment areas with the possibility of hosting kiosks, sports areas, diffused like the fitness trail in the woods and concentrated like the sports fields and the Street Sport area. This specific area includes the SkatePlaza, a new concept of multifunctional public space, also equipped for sportsing use and able to host international competitions related to the Street Skate discipline.
Much emphasis is placed on increasing the quality and character of the environmental landscape: the project gives ample space to areas planted with woodland and rows of trees. The greenery of Parco Unione is structured in macro-areas that define the theme in terms of species selection: the lowland forest, typical of the Po Valley with reference to the species present in the nearby Parco Nord, the Lombard productive plain, with specimens arranged in rows specific of the separation between fields, the ornamental rows, with regular planting that implement the ornamental characteristics.
More than 1300 trees will be planted to provide ecosystem benefits such as improving the microclimate and air quality thanks to the absorption of C02 by the trees. 17,000 square metres of large clearing will provide wide-open spaces for various activities, and 37,000 square metres of trees of different ages and sizes will provide an important ecological and landscape function and consequently increase biodiversity.
The project is also attentive to issues of accessibility and inclusiveness, thanks to signs integrating tactile elements to aid orientation.
Parco Unione is finally a place returned to the community where redeveloped industrial archaeology blends with greenery to offer residents, city users, and visitors a flexible space for leisure time in complete harmony with nature.