New Prato:
Spaces to innovate

Macrolotto Creative District

A project of urban, cultural and social innovation for a new creative district

The "PIU’ PRATO" is an urban innovation project of more than 8 million Euros, of which 6.031.666,85 of regional contributions and more than 2 million of municipal investments. The project obtained the first place in a regional ranking used to finance urban regeneration projects through the allocation, on announcement, of 46 million euro. The project aims to redevelop a part of Prato called Macrolotto 0: an area of about 44 hectares, with no public areas, located immediately to the west of the ancient centre. Despite the relatively central location, the zone has the characteristics of a peripheral area: building and urban degradation, lack of spaces for public use, under-allocation of services for the people, blind roads and other physical barriers (to the north the railway station, crossed by few and narrow underpasses, west the ring road and the neighborhood of S. Paolo). The district grew wildly in the postwar period with the inflow of new Prato citizens from Tuscany and then was characterized by a high number of immigrants from the south of Italy.

The Macrolotto 0 is now one of Europe's major urban areas for concentration of families of migrant workers from China. In the sixties and seventies the area, structured as a factory town, was one of the productive engines of the textile industrial district, where productive activities and houses lived together, but with a slow process, the production buildings have been abandoned and a reuse has been made with sporadic and random few examples of a regeneration that respects local values, and with many speculative replacements. The physical barriers and high concentration of migrants have given the area an isolation character among the most marked in Italy. The project aims to make the area more liveable, more attractive, more socially and economically lively thanks to a series of works that have as an ordering element the theme of public space.

The measures provide for recovery of former production buildings which were abandoned, the construction of squares and green spaces and interventions for sustainable mobility to ensure the smooth crossing and the pleasant enjoyment of the entire area.
The heart of the project consists of the demolition of a number of industrial buildings located in the heart of the neighborhood, to connect on foot the main arteries that cross it, Via Filzi and Via Pistoiese, and the creation of a large square.
Part of the buildings will be retained and retrained to accommodate aggregation spaces and new functions and services such as the media library and co-working.
The square will feature a local signal, a totem monitor that will run continuously videos, information and institutional messages in all languages.

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