Parco Romana is an urban-scale redevelopment project in Milan’s Porta Romana district. The international team behind it includes OUTCOMIST, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, PLP Architecture, Carlo Ratti Associati and Arup. They have just won a competition with its design, beating out 46 other teams representing nearly 330 studios.
The Parco Romana design reinterprets a 100-year-old railway yard. It pulls together an urban space that was split by the railyard, reconnecting surrounding neighborhoods with a mixed-use district.
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Parco Romana will revolve around a central Great Park, which creates an accessible and multifunctional green space for the neighborhood. The Suspended Forest, a linear elevated greenway to be built on existing railway infrastructure, will feature hundreds of trees overhanging walking paths. A wetland and woodland integrated with community gardens will run alongside the tracks at ground level.
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. A consortium, including COIMA, Covivio and Prada Holding will develop the park.
At the western edge, a mixed-use residential district will temporarily house athletes for the Milan 2026 Winter Olympics. After the Olympics, it will be adapted into a permanent multi-generational residential community. This area also houses a major public plaza with spaces for outdoor exercise, food trucks, co-working and public events.
“Parco Romana brings the latest thinking about the 15-minute city to Milan, aiming to provide everything needed for daily life within a short walk from the district’s living and working environments,” said Carlo Ratti Associati. “A focus on pedestrians and cycling minimizes reliance on automobiles and activates new paths to and through the site, forming corridors integrated with new public plazas that act as natural gathering places at the intersection of major pedestrian routes.”
Parco Romana will build its community around the values of decarbonization, climate adaption, resilient communities, health and wellbeing, circular economy and biodiversity. The design will make full use of low-carbon construction and renewable energy.
Images via Carlo Ratti Associati