A 15-minute city that offers housing on a human scale, is sustainable, and is in step with the latest technologies – the Milano4You smart district in Segrate, a municipality that straddles the city of Milan and the countryside, is all this and more. Managed by Sagitta SGR and RED and their partners on behalf of Drees & Sommer, this is a neighborhood that focuses on the wellbeing of its community by interweaving public and private spaces, and built and open spaces. Segrate is a gateway to a still predominantly rural area, where it’s possible to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature, take walks in green places, and spend time socializing outside your home or workplace.
The masterplan, designed and coordinated by MAB Arquitectura and managed by developer RED Real Estate Direction, brings together different housing types (from detached homes to senior and social housing) with cultural and sports facilities as well as the essential services needed for a high standard of living. A few examples are public transport links to downtown Milan, eight parks and gardens, community orchards, and play areas for children. A clear idea of the relationship between built and unbuilt spaces here is given by comparing the total area of 74 acres (30 h) to the built portion (residential, commercial, and hospitality) of 22 acres (9 h).
One of the reasons for the abundance of open space is the way built spaces have been organized along the Promenade, that is, a cycle and pedestrian path that crosses Milano4You from north to south. The objective here was to create stepped levels of development, that is, a progression from more densely built spaces to predominantly natural and rural ones, with clearings, forests, fields, and hedgerows. The project defines three successive zones: the first is the built-up area to the south, with its homes, retail outlets, and accommodation facilities. Occupying four lots, the residential blocks surround an open courtyard. Each block has a different design, ranging from more linear layouts to towers and combinations of the two.
The intermediate area, defined as peri-urban, has larger green spaces. The buildings here are lower to reduce their overall visual impact. This zone will be home to a cultural center to be created by restoring and repurposing the antique Boffalora farmhouse. It will form the epicenter of a range of cultural and community activities.
Finally, the rural area to the north will be dominated by a large park designed to encourage sports and outdoor music, and, in general, a sense of wellbeing.
Sustainability in the Milano4You district encompasses the human, environmental, and economic dimensions. The first of these involves using people’s needs as the point of reference for design choices. The second involves the use of renewable energy sources and the absorption of CO2 thanks to extensive green areas. The third focuses on keeping service charges down. By adopting a new energy model based on a combination of renewables and a computerized system that collects and interprets a range of data, the cost of energy, maintenance, repairs, and management of public spaces is minimized.
The project is being overseen by Sagitta SGR, as manager of the local real estate fund, and RED, the developer that conceived and developed the project, and involves a multidisciplinary team of professionals, and important Italian and international industrial partners. The project was made possible through funding by the Arrow Global Group, a pan-European investor and asset manager.
Drees & Sommer is in charge of project management. The services provided are tailored for the effective organization and management of the complexities involved in the development of a smart district such as Milano4You, with particular attention given to interfacing different areas, from prefabrication to sustainable mobility, from digitization to the design of public spaces.
Milano4You was designed to be a model that can be replicated and reconfigured in different places and on different scales. It’s intended to demonstrate that technology can not only be non-invasive but also lower costs and improve quality of life, in this case by creating a data-driven neighborhood in which data is a dynamic element behind generating increasingly innovative services.
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Location: Segrate, Milan
Client: Sagitta SGR/RED (per Drees & Sommer)
Developer: RED Real Estate Direction
Area: 300.000 m2
Architect: MAB Arquitectura
Project & Construction Manager: RED + Drees & Sommer
Landscape and secondary urbanization: AG&P greenscape and MAB Arquitectura
Primary urbanization: Alpina
Systems Engineering and LEED: Ariatta + Tekser
Digital Infrastructure: Marconi LABS, Cisco, Siemens
Energy concept: Politecnico di Milano, Siemens
Services Design: EFM, Ospedale San Raffaele
Render by MAB Arquitectura, courtesy of Drees & Sommer