Milan plans new Circle Line and green belt

Best of five projects chosen, contracts signed.

Plans are now finalised for the requalification of abandoned railway stations and tracks around the city – and the project chosen includes a new urban Circle Line to sweep around the south, east and north sectors and connecting with the existing network.

After lengthy discussion, a competition among architects for alternative plans for the unused stations and tracks, and the active involvement of residents in the decision-making process, the best of five projects has been chosen for one of Europe’s largest urban redevelopment schemes.

The reconversion, which will take 10 years to complete, will not only provide Milan with a new rail line – it will create parkland, public housing and cycle tracks. The first building sites should be open within the next three years.

Over 675,000 sq km of green belt will be recovered in the process, and some 3,400 low-cost apartments for less wealthy residents will be added to Milan’s council housing. The green belt alone will make up 32 per cent of the area being regenerated.

Circle Line

The largest single part of the new parkland will be a 300,000 sq km zone around the old station at Farini, which will become Milan’s third biggest park.

Milan city hall has already signed contacts with Lombardy regional government and the Italian state railway system, as well as with the owners of a small part of the adjoining terrain. Ferrovie dello Stato alone will invest around €100m in the Circle Line. The city council has 30 days to ratify the accords.