Speaking before an audience of dignitaries on 19 October, Norman Foster introduced a masterplan for a vibrant new urban quarter in Milan. Reclaiming 120 hectares of derelict industrial land, the development will provide a resident population of 12,000 people with a balanced mix of residential, commercial, social and cultural uses. The Foster-designed masterplan for Santa Giulia illustrates how a brownfield site can be rejuvenated as an attractive, sustainable urban community, alive with twenty-four hour activity.
In addition to being a new quarter of Milan, Santa Giulia will develop into an urban destination in its own right. The masterplan is structured by the Promenade, a broad shopping boulevard, and it combines housing, shops, restaurants, and cafes, with cultural centres such as a multimedia complex, the Congress Centre, and Exhibition Hall. These buildings are interspersed with grand public spaces and gardens and a new 33-hectare park, which will be a green oasis for the residents of Santa Giulia and the entire city.
While it is designed to be a self-contained, Santa Giulia is closely linked to the neighbouring communities by pedestrian routes and public transport networks. The development site is well served by an excellent transport infrastructure. It is dissected by the A1 motorway, which connects Milan with Cremona, Mantova, Parma, and Bologna, and is close to Linate City Airport and the Rogoredo Railway Station, which will be upgraded to a high-speed railway stop. There is also an existing subway station and a planned tramline, which runs through the site and will link the subway station to the centre of Milan. The generous provision of underground parking is designed to create an attractive pedestrian environment at street level, free from vehicles, and easy to navigate.
Within the vision of the masterplan, leading architects, artists and sculptors from around the world will be invited to contribute individual buildings and art-works. By balancing the vitality of urban life against the calming influence of nature, the Foster design for Santa Giulia will create a built environment of the highest international standard.