Winning Projects / Smart Cities

Sharing Cities, a European urban redevelopment project, has been launched south of Milan near via Ripamonti, in the Porta Romana-Vettabbia district. It is part of an important European research and innovation program called Horizon 2020 (

As written in,the demonstration districts in ‘lighthouse’ cities Lisbon, London and Milan will implement replicable urban digital solutions and collaborative models. The Royal Borough of Greenwich in London, Porta Romana/Vettabbia in Milan and downtown Lisbon will retrofit buildings, introduce shared electric mobility services, and install energy management systems, smart lamp posts and an urban sharing platform through engaging with citizens. ‘Fellow’ cities Bordeaux, Burgas and Warsaw will co-develop, validate, or implement the above solutions.”

As part of this project, a new square named after the entrepreneur Adriano Olivetti was inaugurated on September 27th. (

In ancient times this urban area was crossed by the Navigli, the waterways designed by Leonardo da Vinci to bring the waters of the nearby rivers to the city. Today, following the natural urban evolution in strong expansion and reconversion, the ancient basins have been re-designed as functional and ornamental pools of water.

The new Piazza Olivetti is part of Sharing Cities, and therefore located in the heart of a Milanese project called Symbiosis by Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, to create a smart district with almost zero emissions. It is also close to the Fondazione Prada ( which has quickly become a cultural landmark for residents and tourists.

To make the surrounding environment pleasant for residents and visitors alike, the 13,000 square meters (15,548 yd2) area has been declared a pedestrian zone, tree lined with 45 high-clustered cherry trees (Prunus padus) whose flowering will be a further ornamental value that will increase the intrinsic importance of “living in Symbiosis”. Other plants include tree and shrub species (fig, pomegranate, wild apple, common rose); rustic herbaceous species (asparagus, thistles, poppies); flowerbeds with ornamental blooms whose flowering will attract butterflies and birds. The water’s garden is composed by the aquatic species of the humid environments typical of the Lombardy low plain, such as water lilies, reeds, beds of rushes, up to the willows and alders, hornbeams and elms, to underline the strong bond of Symbiosis with the ancient origins of the territory.

The system of water bodies which includes fountains, aquatic gardens and pedestrian paths is illuminated with LED lamps, surrounded by new generation benches equipped with multimedia connections and 2 multimedia totems, with a lot of charging points for smartphones and tablets. The whole area is totally and constantly connected via Wi-Fi to guarantee a smart working lifestyle.

Other “green” solutions are also available, such as electric bicycles with pedal assistance, electric condominium vehicles with reservation, reserved parking for ecological vehicles.

The new Bocconi Campus will be located a short distance away. The development of a new park of almost 95 thousand square meters (113,619 yd2) is also underway, together with many other activities related to innovation, culture and agriculture.

Even the buildings of the Symbiosis project are designed to encourage companies to combine productivity and sustainability. They are certified Leed “Core & Shell” Gold level, an exclusive evaluation for environmentally sustainable buildings, both from an energy point of view and from a point of view of consumption of the environmental resources involved. (
They are equipped with systems that can control and zero the level of CO2 emissions in the air, thus contributing to the well-being of the people who live and work in the area and favouring high energy savings.

In addition, 50% of the building’s effective energy needs are covered by internal renewable sources, while the rest of the electricity required is certified green.
The Symbiosis project was born from the desire to create an innovative building model, characterized by hyper-technological structures. The predominantly working vocation of the entire Symbiosis area will be joined by a multitude of services that will transform the entire district into a new attractive centre.

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