Focus


Valet, modular system to transform city streets into urban gardens

Vudafieri-Saverino Partners, PRR Architetti and Lorenzo Noè in collaboration with Italcementi redesign the look of the cities starting from their streets, to give new economic and social impulse to neighbourhood life. In Milan, the first application in the Porta Venezia district.

17 March 2021

The current pandemic is having an important effect not only on people but also on the urban system of our cities, which needs to be rethought in order to make citizens' lives easier and more pleasant, even if only temporarily, and to stimulate reflection on processes of economic and social rebirth. With a view also to the '15 minutes city' concept, neighbourhoods must therefore be rethought with actions to make public spaces increasingly liveable, enjoyable, family-friendly, safe, sustainable and stimulating. 

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In this context, Vudafieri-Saverino Partners, PRR Architetti and Lorenzo Noè present a project that aims to rethink public space by creating new open-air areas, pedestrian spaces, and outdoor areas for dining and socialising. The result is Valet, a system of prefabricated slabs developed in collaboration with Italcementi's research and innovation centre. 

Valet consists of high-tech lightweight concrete elements, specifically designed for urban paving, which transform the carriageway or roadside parking areas into pavements that run alongside the pedestrian area. With an explicit orientation towards sustainability, the elements are characterised by their high drainage properties, composition with recycled and photocatalytic "smog-eating" materials which reduce pollutants, and aesthetic and technical features which aim in particular to combat the overheating of urban areas but also to encourage strength, modularity and ease of production.

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This system generates new open spaces for shops and restaurants in the neighbourhood, thus extending the pedestrian area and transforming the streets into more welcoming and liveable places. 
 


Read also: A new concept of hospitality is born: Milano Verticale by UNA Group


 

The first step in Valet's experimentation was Via Melzo in Milan. Located in the Porta Venezia district, Via Melzo is an ideal example of the transformative power of applied design. Vudafieri-Saverino Partners, PRR Architetti and Lorenzo Noè worked with citizens, shopkeepers and local authorities to define a tangible redevelopment proposal.

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The intervention assumes that the road will be transformed into an area with a 30km/hour speed limit.The carriageway - which maintains one-way traffic - will be narrowed, reducing the parking area but at the same time allowing the pavement to be widened on both sides, through the use of the Valet system. The path thus loses its linearity in favour of a sinuous path full of inlets, recesses and widenings, ideal for resting and socialising.

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Read also: Pirelli 39: the new project by DS+R and Stefano Boeri Architetti in Milan


 



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