October 16 2013

Can Temporary Urban Gardens be the New Park(ing) in Milan, Italy?

Milan is facing a problem that has been a challenge for urban planning ever since the invasion of cars: the issue of parking spaces. Where and how many are questions that need answers in order to satisfy agglomerated cities all over the world. But nowadays, even too much parking can give rise to issues, and the question remains: what is an alternative use to these spaces without abolishing their main purpose?

Transforming parking space into public space” is a new trend that appears to be taking over Milan.

PoliGarden, Milan, Italy

The Poligarden is a temporary urban garden, constructed as an initiative of Tal Ashkenazi, to replaces one parking stall inside the Politecnico’s parking lot. The aim is to give a new meaning to an urban space by experimenting with possible functionalities that may provide leisure places for students and educate the public on urban gardening, while increasing their environmental awareness.

PoliGarden, Milan, Italy

The construction process of the Poligarden was aimed at a low cost installation, using local and recycled materials:

  • The structure is made of used vegetable crate boxes taken from street markets;
  • An old rug, placed on the asphalt, creates a comfortable place to sit;
  • The soil for the plants was mixed with two types of compost that is free in organic farms; and
  • The seeds for the plants were bought and planted in advance and were put inside a geotextile fabric to create temporary flowerpots.

Overall it took two days and three people to construct everything.

The project was planned for a period of one week, after which it was dismantled and the plants were given to students as part of the educational theme.

Along with its main purpose, the initiative brings to question a controversial subject: is it possible for temporary architecture influence the future design of our cities ?

Credits: Photographs by Alexandra Serbana, Alessandra Manganelli, and Tal Ashkenazi. Data linked to sources.

Alexandra Serbana

Because of her strong background in Urban Planning and Design, from her bachelor’s at “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism, in Bucharest, Romania, Alexandra decided to pursue planning from the perspective of policy and decision-making. She is passionate about traveling and experimenting with new cities, and moved to Milan, Italy where she is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Urban Planning, Policy, and Design at Politecnico di Milano. The experience of working and living in the multicultural city of Milan has sparked her interest in the reaction of urban places to new real-estate developments, as well as conflict resolution for urban design projects that reorganize urban city life. She hopes to make an improvement on the way cities deal with physical urban changes and their effect on the quality of social and environmental life.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 at 9:54 am and is filed under Architecture, Environment, Environmental Design, Environmental Non-Profit, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


4 Responses to “Can Temporary Urban Gardens be the New Park(ing) in Milan, Italy?”

  1. jajajajaja Says:

    Brilliant, absolute brilliance! Flower pots on parking spaces… wow

  2. Tal Says:

    correction: The Poligarden was initiated and conducted by both Tal Ashkenazi and Alessandra Manganelli as a joint project. Thanks.

  3. Maxwell Says:

    Wish I could have seen it! More places should be inspired by this :) Thank you!

  4. Perry Gruber Says:

    Interesting. I may have seen something similar in Portland where I live over the last couple of months. Every little thing that moves civilization in sustainability’s direction is a good step. Congrats on the project!

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