With Ferrovie dello Stato for Grande Bologna

A Protocol has been signed by the Municipality and the Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane Group for the redevelopment of Bologna’s railway areas

Bologna, 25 March 2021

From the Bologna Centrale railway station complex to the former Ravone rail yard and the Dopolavoro Ferroviario Mascarella.

These are the main areas at the heart of the Protocol signed by the Municipality of Bologna and the Rete Ferroviaria Italiana Group, through its subsidiaries Rete Ferroviaria Italiana, Grandi Stazioni Rail, Trenitalia and FS Sistemi Urbani, presented today by the city’s Mayor Matteo Lepore and the CEO of the FS Italiane Group, Luigi Ferraris, together with the Minister for the Economy and Finance, Enrico Giovannini.

Thanks to the agreement and the concomitant participation in the national call for assigning resources under the PNRR (Italy’s Recovery and Resilience Plan), the municipality will acquire the availability of areas no longer being used for railway activities yet which are strategic for the city’s development.

Signing the Memorandum of Understanding with the Municipality of Bologna is an important step in a process that will be more fully defined and implemented in the FS Group’s own Business Plan. Because the Plan,” declared CEO Luigi Ferraris, “will also pay special attention to the theme of sustainable regeneration of the city. It will do so by making available our know-how, our real estate and land assets that are no longer used for railway operations, often close to the stations, as is the case here in Bologna, and with the involvement of citizens, economic operators and public administrations. If the objective is to improve the quality of life in our cities,” Ferraris continued, “it can only be achieved through discussions and constructive cooperation with all stakeholders, starting with the municipal administrations. Today, we are proving that it can be done!”

The areas covered by the agreement

Ex Scalo Ravone: The creation of a district of mutualism, social innovation and collaborative economy is envisaged through the eco-sustainable refunctionalisation of a large extent of the area, along with the preservation and gradual restoration of the existing industrial buildings (extending across 26,000 square metres of gross surface area). A total of 10 hectares of new public areas will be acquired, with buildings for public use, service activities for new productions and co-housing, along with social and innovative housing (for about 300 people). Two important pieces of infrastructure are also planned to connect the area with the surrounding zones: a pedestrian and bicycle bridge connecting to the bicycle and pedestrian pathway system in the Prati di Caprara area and a road linking Via Casarini and Via del Chiù.

A portion of the Ravone Rail Yard and the Ravone Vehicle Maintenance Workshop area will be nominated for the international design competition Reinventing Cities, promoted by C–40, which envisages the transformation of unused or run-down sites into resilient, carbon-neutral spaces of urban regeneration, through competitions for areas in need of redevelopment.

Polo della Memoria Democratica: For its realisation, a selection was made from amongst the buildings in the station area, being easily accessible and highly visible. The Polo will be a new national point of reference on contemporary history and the present, whilst also housing the main archive on the contemporary history of the city and the country, along with permanent and temporary installations alongside aggregative and educational spaces. One space will be given to historical research and the elaboration of memory, able to interact with the great challenges of the present, bringing into dialogue – also through experimentation with new languages and digital technology – the heritage, skills and projects of various subjects (cultural centres, associations and institutions) historically present within the area.

DLF Mascarella: An adaptation of the spaces – both closed and open – is foreseen, with the creation of a cultural and sports centre adapted to contemporary needs, with particular attention to the night-time offering thanks to a new-generation cultural park based on novel management methods.