COIMA launches COIMA City Lab, think tank for Italian cities. Goal of reaching Euro 10 billion in urban regeneration projects



- COIMA City Lab is a think tank of architects for the development of sustainable and resilient urban spaces dedicated to fostering innovation in Italy
- COIMA has completed in the last 10 years urban requalification investments totaling €5 billion and is launching new projects totaling €2 billion with the goal of reaching, in the next 5 years, total investments of €10 billion
- The team engaged to prepare the masterplan for Porta Nuova Gioia in Milan is presented
- Studio Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel wins the international architecture competition for the Eastern and Western lots in Porta Nuova Gioia

Milan, 20 May 2019 –The presentation entitled Architecture = Culture and Economic Development was held today at Fondazione Riccardo Catella in the context of the inauguration of Milano ArchWeek, the week dedicated to international architecture launched by the Triennale, the Polytechnic Institute and the Municipality of Milan in collaboration with Fondazione Feltrinelli, which this year – under the title Antropocene e architettura – will focus on environmental sustainability from an urban planning and architectural standpoint.

The event launched by COIMA, included the inauguration of works by the Rector of the Polytechnic Institute of Milan, Ferruccio Resta, followed by remarks by Manfredi Catella, CEO and Founder of COIMA and by Stefano Boeri, Architect and Designer of Bosco Verticale.

“Urban contexts, which are expanding dramatically, call for a new way of thinking about spaces and services, of seeing the city not as a mere large container but rather as a place open to new initiatives and ideas. These are issues which the Polytechnic Institute of Milan, one of the leading schools of architecture in Europe and in the world, aims to address along with enterprises and institutions which work, side by side, to make Milan one of the most interesting focal points at the international level” commented Ferruccio Resta.

During the event, COIMA, for the first time, summed up its urban regeneration projects concluded in the last 10 years, those under way and future projects, in terms of cultural, social, environmental and economic impact. After completing urban regeneration projects for an economic value totaling over Euro 5 billion, COIMA is launching a new season of strategic urban projects with projects already identified totaling over Euro 2 billion and the goal of contributing over Euro 3 billion in the next 5 years, bringing the total value of investments to Euro 10 billion. COIMA’s economic contribution in the context of projects already completed and projects under way is summarized below.

COIMA has launched a program of regeneration projects in partnership with a number of leading Italian and international institutional investors and with the fund COIMA Opportunity Fund II, the largest discretionary real estate fund dedicated to Italy, for which the capital raising phase was concluded with investment capacity totaling over 1.5 billion plus co-investments. The fund’s investors include Inarcassa - Cassa Nazionale di Previdenza and Assistenza per gli Ingegneri e Architetti Liberi Professionisti - and Ivanhoe Cambridge, named by IPE as the most important investor on the territory in the world in Amsterdam last Friday, which is dedicated to contributing toward sustainable architectural projects of excellence.

The new program of urban regeneration investments will focus on the main Italian cities, in projects that contribute toward urban economic development and the realization of new innovative formats in terms of environmental sustainability and social inclusion. The projects already launched are now under way in Milan, Rome and Venice.

In particular, in Milan, the investments are concentrated in both the northeastern quadrant of the city - expanding the area adjacent to Porta Nuova – and in the area of the Farini Railway Yard and the Porta Romana Railway Yard. Looking toward the future, COIMA aims, as its mission, to contribute toward the regeneration of urban spaces in other Italian cities as well, in partnership with local investors and operators.

During the presentation, COIMA announced the creation of COIMA City Lab, a think tank with the objective of playing a strategic role in delineating guidelines for the creation of urban spaces of the future, in the context of both projects to be launched by COIMA itself, and as a cultural contribution toward the development of the Italian territory as a fundamental resource of the country.

COIMA City Lab will be comprised of architects and professionals boasting international experience and specific professional expertise and skills in the planning of cities. Initially, its members will include Stefano Boeri(Stefano Boeri Architetti), Elizabeth Diller (Diller Scofidio + Renfro), Gregg Jones (Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects), Lee Polisano (PLP Architecture), Carlo Ratti (Carlo Ratti Associati), Cino Zucchi (CZA Cino Zucchi Architetti) and COIMA’s senior management.
COIMA City Lab will operate in close collaboration with COIMA’s Sustainability and Innovation Committee and with COIMA’s Advisory Board, which is comprised in turn of economists, representatives of primary institutional investors, business owners and urban experts in the definition of corporate and product strategies.

Manfredi Catella remarked: “Historically, we have entered an era in which citie serve as the principal infrastructure of the planet, and our country has, within its territory, a strategic resource for its development. Architecture will be a cultural and economic engine. COIMA’s contribution through urban regeneration projects completed and launched already amounts to over Euro 7 billion; our commitment to Italy will move forward by fostering alliances among business owners, operators, professionals, investors and the public sector in a virtuous collaboration with a view to enabling our cities to become hubs of excellence for innovation, sustainability and inclusion in the world.”

Stefano Boeri commented: “After the extraordinary experience with Bosco Verticale and Porta Nuova, I am delighted to collaborate once again with Manfredi Catella and COIMA and to be part of such a high level team of international colleagues. Urban regeneration, attention focused on younger generations and all forms of cohabitation, the invention of new forms of community space, energy self-sufficiency of buildings and districts, the integration of nature and vegetation into architecture: COIMA City Lab will provide an important opportunity for comparing notes and fostering dialogue with a view to striving to understand and address Italy’s future urban challenges over the next several decades."

COIMA City Lab’s first contribution will be presented during the COIMA Real Estate Forum, the annual event which, now in its eighth edition, will be held in Milan on 24 October under the title “Italian Outlook & future city development". Following the completion of the acquisition program in Porta Nuova which includes the former Telecom building at Via Pirelli 35, the former building hosting the Municipal Technical Offices at Via Pirelli 39, the former INPS building at Via Melchiorre Gioia 22, the plots of land and the related construction rights at the intersection between Via Melchiorre Gioia and Via Giovanni Battista Pirelli, COIMA has aggregated areas totaling an overall surface area of over 150,000 square meters and 20,000 square meters of public spaces with the strategic aim of completing the Porta Nuova district and creating an innovative project alongside the Municipality of Milan which will contribute strategically toward developing the city by creating an urban regeneration corridor from Central Station to the Farini Railway Yard, and to the Expo areas crossing through Bovisa. With a view to preparing a coordinated proposal, COIMA has commenced, even though this is not an administrative requirement, the preparation of a single overarching masterplan that will be coordinated by Gregg Jones of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects – which handled the Porta Nuova masterplan – along with a qualified team comprised of Patricia Viel of the firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, Chris Choa of AECOM – which handled the masterplan for the London Olympics-, Ibrahim Ibrahim of Portland - specialized in the animation of public spaces-, Jim Burnett of the firm OJB and Andreas Kipar of Land as landscape architects. The winner of the architecture competition launched by COIMA for the planning of two lots in the Porta Nuova Gioia area was also announced: the architecture firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel. The firm’s proposal was selected based upon criteria focusing on expertise in environmental sustainability, innovation, technology applied to buildings and innovative uses of space. The planning competition saw the participation of 50 architecture firms from among which the following were selected: Alfonso Femia, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Dpa, Gensler, Grimshaw, Herzog & De Meuron, Kpf, Mad, Nbbj, Hembert Penaranda, Oma, Pickard Chilton, Som, Uns, Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, Carlo Ratti Associati, Ingenhoven, Plp Architecture and Wilmotte & Associes with Studio Transit, with the last five shortlisted prior to the final selection.

“We went about working on this project by reflecting on an element that is meaningful per se but also part of a vaster urban design, basing our conception of this architecture on innovative technological principles but, more importantly, on cultural ones, devising a new way of using architecture and its tangible and intangible relationships with the city” – remarked Patricia Viel.

On the occasion of Milano ArchWeek, on Saturday 25 May, the building site of Corso Como Place –a future example of urban innovation – will open its doors to the public with guided tours from 12:00 noon until 7:00 p.m.


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