Torino has a population of 1.790.000 inhabitants in the metropolitan area, a GDP of 55.000 millions of Euros – which is 4.5% of the national GDP.
Founded by the Romans in 28 b.c, Torino became in 1563 Capital of the Savoy Kingdom and in 1861 it was the First Capital of Italy. After a century of strong development, based on manufacturing and car industry, during the ’80s’ Torino experienced a deep crisis related to the demographic and industrial decline. It then started a new positive deal.
Since the 1990’s Torino has been following a path that has transformed it from an industrial capital – a sector which continues to play a fundamental role – into a pole of innovation, culture and improved quality of life. The approval of the Town Master Plan in 1995 was a determining factor in initiating the phase of urban transformation, which is still going further: new infrastructures (railway link, subway, new tram lines for a total investment of 7 billions of Euro in the last 15 years), industrial areas recovery; improving environment and upgrading the suburbs; restoration of the city historical centre.
Torino started also a process of territorial marketing aiming at attracting new investments and at being designated as hosting city of events at national and international level. In the year 2000 the first metropolitan strategic plan was approved. In 2006 Torino hosted the XX Winter Olympics Games. On the occasion of the Olympics an investment of 600 millions of Euros has been done on the city whereas an investment of 1200 millions of Euros has been done on the whole area involved. The second strategic plan followed in 2006, focusing on knowledge and innovation. Indeed the economic system has been deeply diversified and innovated in the last years.
A rich calendar of international events followed after the Olympics: UNESCO Word Book Capital (2006), Chess Olympiads and Fencing World Championships (2006), Winter Universiade (2007) World Design Capital (2008), XXIII UIA World Congress of Architecture (2008), ESOF – the Euroscience Open Forum (2010), the celebration and exposition of the Holy Shroud (2010), the 150° of the unification of Italy (2011).
Torino is also becoming more and more liveable and with an high quality of life (culture, social, etc) and it is enhancing is capability to attract a qualified human capital (student, researchers, qualified workers, and also tourists). In this framework the City is working for the improvement of culture offer (over 50 museums, 14 Royal Savoy Kingdom residences and a strong contemporary arts system) and to promote the extraordinary food and wine tradition, which is an important cultural resource.
The area being object of the simulation is a portion of the city with an extension of 850.000 m2, located in close proximity to the city centre and embedded in three districts with seven quarters involved. The redevelopment area affects on the whole around 150.000 residents (42.000 families). The area was previously taken up by industrial activities, such as the steelworks, which determined a huge environmental mortgage. The features of the area are the Dora Riparia River, an important transport network (Mortara Road, the railway link). The progressive outsourcing process led to a firstly graduated and then final closing down of all the productive activities.
The urban transformation outline regulated by the Municipal Town Plan of the City of Torino and called Backbone 3, foresaw the redevelopment of the entire area. 69% of it has been sold by private bodies to the Municipality and conceived for final service activities and park uses, while 31% of it is intended for residential and commercial purposes and it’s still owned by privates. In the new residential areas more then 11.000 newcomers are expected. The transformation project activated an investment programme of more than 800 million € and the massif exploitation of national, European and private funding.
After the environmental checks the area resulted heavily polluted by all kind of waste, such as foundry slag, heavy metals and heavy hydrocarbons, phenols. Thus, suitable remediation interventions became necessary.
The role of the Lingotto railway station, in the framework of the railway junction in Torino, is intended to be modified by the put into place of the new railway link. Such a station will assume a more important role following the capacity reduction of Porta Nuova railway station and consequently to the settlement of new tertiary and residential functions in the areas situated east (former FIAT Avio) and west of the tracks.
The new settlement in the former FIAT Avio area includes a skyscraper that will host the offices of the Piemonte Region as well as new tertiary and residential spaces. It is located east of the railway tracks, in correspondence to the actual Lingotto Station but, up to now and as well as the Lingotto multifunctional centre, not directly linked to it.
In 2006-2007 the need of redesigning the Lingotto railway station came out, foreseeing its transformation into a bridging station in order to ensure its accessibility from both sides of the tracks. Such a new concept would produce a double advantage: from on side the station functions as a transversal connection element and, from the other side, it could contribute to the creation of urban centrality elements and support services and meeting opportunities for the resident population.
The Urban Transformations Department, the Environment and Territory Department, the Great Works of Public Green Department and the International Affairs Department of the City of Torino worked jointly on a resolution for adopting the Brownfield Pledge, which has been approved by the Executive City Council on April 12th 2011.