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.

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Map of design with the part of the design filled in green while surrounding it is black and white

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.

Related: Forest Pavilion blends nature with residential development

A rendering of a park with two people walking in it

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.

A green garden space with people working on it

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.

Multiple people milling about underneath the symbol of the Olympics

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.

An indoor track with glass ceiling filtering light into the building

“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.”

A grove of trees with people walking through them

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.

+ Carlo Ratti Associati

Images via Carlo Ratti Associati