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Newsletter n. 14

Municipality and Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, discuss the future of Milan’s railway areas

The renewal of the areas surrounding Milan’s rail stations is set to change the face of the city over the next 50 years or more. Given the size and location of these areas, some have likened the scope of the projects to the reconstruction efforts in the period after Second World War.

Milan, due to its location and its commercial relevance, has been a major railway hub since the late 1800s. The rail network grew over the decades until the 1930’s, becoming more or less the one we know today.

After the system had run for many years with 10 railway stations, something changed: Milan gradually lost its industrial vocation and the country, despite a developed railway network, chose to give priority to road transport. The two factors combined have made it clear that the city now had too many cargo facilities compared to actual requirements.

Seven abandoned railway station areas were thus identified (Farini, Lambrate, Porta Romana, Porta Genova, San Cristoforo, Rogoredo and Bicocca), of which 6 are displayed on the website www.investinitalyrealestate.com and almost all close to the centre. Together they cover an area of 1.25 million sqm and the municipality of Milan, in agreement with the owner, Ferrovie dello Stato, would like to regenerate them.

The first step to starting the regeneration project was taken 15 years ago. After several agreements, in November 2016 the municipality of Milan approved by a large majority a resolution limiting gross floor area and imposing specific constraints on the use of the relevant railway areas.

After having also involved the local population in what will be the base choices for the projects, the debate on a new goal begun: the municipality of Milan undertakes to change the use of the areas in order to allow Ferrovie to sell them or to build on them and in return Ferrovie dello Stato will hand over a portion of these areas for public use and invest to strengthen local transport.

Positive meetings between the two key players continue, with the conviction that reaching a new agreement will not be too difficult.

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