Urban and Suburban Small-Scale Industrial Reuse. Strategies, Methodologies and Tools for Urban Regeneration in Small-Medium Towns


  • Chizzoniti Domenico Politecnico di Milano
  • Cattani Letizia Politecnico di Milano
  • Preis Luca Politecnico di Milano
  • Beggiora Klizia Politecnico di Milano
  • Moscatelli Monica Politecnico di Milano




Aspects of architectural and urban theory, City centre regeneration, Micro reuse, Dismissed area, De-industrialisation


The aim of this paper is the investigation and analysis of the emerging phenomenon of the micro industrial reuse that is affecting the contemporary European city with unknown and different features from those of the major productive sectors known. The issues related to this phenomenon are attributable to the popular opinion that micro industrial reuse can be managed locally and autonomously in the absence of an overview. However, a critical investigation of urban regeneration can develop a method of study based primarily on the development of these emerging phenomena, later on the recognition of the distinctive characteristics of this new urban condition and finally on the identification of operating ways that can be generalized in similar contexts. Essential is to verify the possibility of increase the level of habitability of this spaces and of the respective contexts to stopping the continuous waste of soil and improving the quality of life. So, the interventions of regeneration of urban areas must create relationships with its immediate surroundings, it can create hybridization functional between productive, collective and residential activities and between public and private activities. The physical setting of the research was an area included in the basin of the Po valley: an area along the Via Emilia, where small and medium industrial units have concentrated in the last decades. This area still shows problems of industrial reorganization, rendered more complex by the widespread crisis prevailing in traditional activities. In this context, a number of projects concerning rail and/or road accessibility were being carried out, arising much debate as to whether or not they will prove useful for the future transport network of the whole basin. In this broader context, our research has focused on in-depth analysis of a possible case study, represented by the city of Fidenza. The strategy adopted by the project moves by some general considerations, that see the urban plan of Fidenza fragmented into anonymous accidental conurbations, moving gradually away from the city center to the countryside. This anomaly, which is common in many centers for small and medium, in Fidenza is particularly emblematic near the entrances of the city on the Via Emilia. Then, is an urgent need to rethink, in this urban fabric, the role of the Via Emilia, which has historically helped to create direct relationships along the course, between town and country and between urban facts within the city itself, which are still dismissed. To exemplify our approach to the theme of the proposed project, it is necessary to look at the analysis of some projects. These projects have developed in different ways the issues proposed by the place, chosen as project area. These issues can be summarized as follows: proposals for the organization in the area facing the Fidenza Railway Station; proposals for the organization in the bounded area of the former Jesuit Convent in Fidenza. The innovative aspect of the project lies in posing the problem of urban regeneration at the micro-scale, looking at the potential role of small industrial units, which have closed down in small/medium towns. In the current situation a priority vision is mandatory. Sustainability, so often set as a priority by international research institutions, requires not only a generalized approach; rather does it require specific solutions, to be found considering the distinguishing features, and resources, of each single context. Our aim is to focus examples on how to reuse, modify, or replace (partially or entirely) existing small industrial units and activities. To do this, we shall experiment with new spatial arrangements and building types, while asking contribution from other disciplines to rediscover and revive the identity of townscapes under study.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5755/j01.sace.8.3.7215

Author Biography

Chizzoniti Domenico, Politecnico di Milano

Architecture, Built environment and Construction Engineering

Politecnico di Milano

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