Bovisa-Goccia: former gasometers the site of the future of innovation.

A €100-million green and hi-tech redevelopment agreement between the Politecnico di Milano, Comune di Milano and the Region.

Tens of thousands of square metres of poorly exploited land will become green spaces surrounding the gasometers, symbolic local landmarks. The gasometers will be converted into an innovation hub, a home for laboratories (such as the St Microelectronics clean rooms), startups (it is no coincidence that the hub will be the new home of Polihub, the Politecnico accelerator) and "a space dedicated to wellbeing and sport that will also be open to the public”, as as the Rector, Ferrucio Resta, declared last year in an interview published by La Repubblica..

The urban redevelopment project for the for the future of the Bovisa-Goccia area is now ready to start: amongst other operations, it foresees investments of €100 million investment— €25 million from the Region and €75 million from the university—which will extend the Politecnico's presence in the Bovisa district where, as the rector explained, 20,000 students and five of the university’s 12 departments are based: “Universities now understand that, in addition to superior quality courses and research programmes, they also need to offer spaces and services,” he remarked at the press conference he attended on 12 April alongside the President of the Lombardy Region, Attilio Fontana, the Regional Councillor for the Development of the Metropolitan City, Stefano Bolognini, , and the City Councillor for Urban Regeneration, Gianfranco Tancredi.

The works will begin in 2022 and will be completed by the end of 2025:

“The Bovisa gasometers must become factories of ideas, knowledge and innovation that welcome #startups, businesses and students from across Italy and the world. Less than 12-15 months ago, it was just a dream; signing the agreement means that we are entering the phase of management and execution.”

The redevelopment of the district includes a new university area of 215,000 square metres of green space. The southern gasometer in particular—20,000 square metres on 7 levels—has been redesigned as the operational heart of a virtuous circle: “On the first three floors, there will be laboratories for microelectronics and artificial intelligence sensors”, the rector continued. “The next three floors will instead be home to Polihub, our startup incubator: today we have 120 startups but we aim to double that number. The top floor will host businesses in order to create an ecosystem of innovation for those who want to develop in partnership with the Politecnico di Milano.”

Today, the businesses already confirmed include: Stmicroelectronics, A2A, Lendlease, Eni (read more in Il Corriere).

There are two guidelines: " Technology as a tool and sustainability as the goal,” confirming the university’s commitment to playing its part in the transformation of the city and understanding the needs of new generations: “in this context, the wellbeing and quality of the spaces is fundamental,” as is the proximity to an important research and innovation hub such as the Politecnico di Milano: “The two gasometers will be extraordinary vessels for some of the driving functions for the world of innovation, entrepreneurship, training, wellbeing and culture with the aim of promoting the growth of a district of knowledge and innovation that starts with the university and extends to the community. A concrete response towards sustainable and inclusive development", concluded Ferruccio Resta.

Cover photo from Repubblica.it

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