milan’s industrial porta romana district will see a major transformation with an urban-scale green redevelopment project ‘parco romana.’ the project stands as the winning competition entry designed by an international team that includes OUTCOMIST, diller scofidio + renfro, PLP architecture, carlo ratti associati (CRA) and arup. in celebration of the industrial legacy of the site, the proposal reanimates disused infrastructure with contemporary, ecologically-minded programming. most notably, the scheme will reclaim a large railway yard that has divided the area for more than a century, introducing a new green park and connective tissue linking the area to the city center.

milan parco romana
ecozone: woodland | courtesy of the design team

 

 

milan’s planned ‘porto romana’ will introduce a welcoming public space rich with biodiversity, centered along a large urban park. stitching together a fragmented urban realm, the design team — including OUTCOMIST, diller scofidio + renfro, PLP architecture, carlo ratti associati (CRA), and arup — seeks to reconnect the surrounding neighborhoods. the vibrant mixed-use district will be rooted in the principles of inclusivity, biodiversity, resiliency, connectivity, and well-being. continuing italy’s celebration of its multi-layered history, the proposal will allow the area’s heritage to shine through while creating shared environments for living and working that unite a diverse community of residents, students, office workers, athletes and visitors.

milan's parco romana will revitalize an industrial railway district with a vibrant public forest
ecozone: community garden | courtesy of the design team

 

 

milan’s parco romana itself will form a unique topographic feature extending over the active railway that currently bisects the site, creating an accessible and multi-functional green space for the neighborhood. the suspended forest — a linear elevated greenway that helps to contain, rather than erase, existing railway infrastructure — includes hundreds of trees providing 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, offering a range of communal activities focused on health and well-being while dovetailing with milan’s rotaie verdi environmental network.

milan's parco romana will revitalize an industrial railway district with a vibrant public forest
park view toward southwest and fondazione prada | courtesy of the design team

 

 

framing these open spaces, a series of urban blocks with landscaped courtyards reference the scale and form of historic milanese urban planning. the eastern gateway district provides a new business core for the city, with well-connected buildings facing the eco-zone and suspended forest. at the western edge, a mixed-use residential district will initially house athletes for the milan 2026 winter olympics; after the games, it will be adapted into a permanent inter-generational residential community. this area 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.

milan parco romana
olympic village | courtesy of the design team

 

 

the parco romana proposal is aligned with the protocols of the paris agreement, the european green deal, and the national recovery and resilience plan defined at the level of the united nations sustainable development goals. radical sustainability framework combines ecological and human systems throughout the development to form a self-reliant but integrated model of urban growth. It focuses on de-carbonization, climate adaption, resilient communities, health and wellbeing, circular economy and biodiversity. Low-carbon construction and green technologies deliver renewable energy, clean water, and fresh food to ensure the project becomes a net generator of resources rather than a burden on municipal services.

milan parco romana
suspended forest, view under tree canopy | courtesy of the design team

 

 

parco romana is being developed by a consortium that includes COIMA, covivio and prada holding. the selected team is collaborating with gross.max, nigel dunnett studio and LAND for landscape design, systematica for mobility, studio zoppini and aecom for olympics advisory, artelia on technical advisory, and portland design for brand and story development.

milan parco romana
heritage building: olympic fitness center | courtesy of the design team

 

 

project info:

 

project title: parco romana

design team: OUTCOMIST, diller scofidio + renfro, PLP architecture, carlo ratti associati (CRA), and arup

location: porta romana district, milan, italy

landscape: gross. max. and nigel dunnett studio

brand experience: portland

mobility: systematics

olympic advisory: studio zoppini, AECOM

technical advisory: LAND, artelia

status: competition, winning entry