August 21 2013

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: The Battlefield of Milan’s Urban Skyline

In Milan, the history of urban planning is physically present in the many different typologies of neighborhoods and areas. The development of the city can be gradually measured by the rise of projects which have completely changed the city’s skyline in the last ten years.

Il Duomo di Milano, the fifth largest cathedral in the world, was for the longest time the tallest building in Milan - measuring 108 meters high – and was undoubtedly a Milanese symbol. But the modernization of the city boasted several transformation projects and re-designed the urban structure.

Il Duomo di Milan and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Milan, Italy

Italian cities have always had a specific structure in that the street network and urban development evolve around the Duomo, and as planners we should consider how major projects can impact and react with the shape of the city.

The Urban Simulation Laboratory “FaustoCurti” is a research facility at Politecnico di Milano. It was founded in early 2007 by Fausto Curti and Peter Bosselmann, director of the Environmental Simulation Laboratory at the University of California.

The laboratory studies complex relationships between urban design and physical context in Milan. The process implies several steps of field survey, coatings of reconstructed buildings, digital or physical modelling of the sample, and historical or morphological evolution of the urban tissue. At the end, everything is compressed in an analysis of the impact of new projects on the city using visual simulation in terms of shadowing, wind, energy, and human perception.

The goal is to innovate, experiment, and help facilitate the control of cumulative outcomes and confrontation between urban planners, policy makers, developers, and citizens.

New development projects that define Milan's skyline, Italy

It is interesting to see Milan’s timeline just by looking over its skyline, and have the possibility to identify specific projects from different transformation periods.

Looking from above, one can tell the story of the city; but does the skyline of a city reflect the decision-making process of urban design?

Credits: Photographs by Hamed Maza and Alexandra Serbana. 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, August 21st, 2013 at 9:03 am and is filed under Architecture, Environment, Environmental Design, Government/Politics, Urban Development/Real Estate, 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.


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