Reggio Calabria, funded by a €33 million project that will revolutionize the city’s port: this is how it will be
An innovative idea that upends the traditional approach to port design, with an emphasis on the relationship between sea and territory: Atelier (s) Alfonso Femia signs master plan for the redevelopment of areas, structures and infrastructures in Harbor From Reggio Calabria.
According to Mario Mega, head of the Ports System Authority in the Straits, who spoke in the context of the first edition of La Biennale dello Stretto, it is not correct to define ports as infrastructure. They are places of transit, separate from the territory and from the sea itself. Reconnection, not just a simple connection between different regions, but the building of multiple relationships on the urban front, is the key to local regional development, capable of turning the strait into an international reference point in the Mediterranean.
Gibraltar, the Bosphorus, the Dardanelles, the peculiarities of each natural crossing are enhanced by the improvement of the surroundings. Gibraltar is a unique passage between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean. The Dardanelles and the Bosporus Strait between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea The Strait of Messina is a gateway between the Mediterranean and a magnet for African flows and a strategic for the European development economy.
The port of Reggio Calabria is located on the eastern shore of the strait and consists of an artificial basin protected by the long western quay. Santa Caterina is the urban area overlooking the port.
Together with the port of Villa San Giovanni, the port of Reggio Calabria ensures connections with Sicily and the Aeolian Islands. In addition to passenger service and commercial services, the port of Reggio also performs the function of pleasure boats.
In terms of freight traffic, it was connected in the past to many ports in the Mediterranean: Casablanca in Morocco, Marseille in France, several Turkish ports, Ceuta in Spain, Patras in Greece, Zaporozhye in Ukraine, Valletta in Malta.
The port area has direct links with the road network and motorways (the connecting road along the terminal extension of the A2 that crosses Reggio Calabria). Several loopholes prevent the port’s development from a regional point of view. In terms of integration with respect to other Calabria points included in the European, Central and Global networks, the port has no direct connection by land with Reggio Calabria Airport, nor direct rail connections with the same Reggio Calabria Airport, with Lamezia Terme Airport and Gioia Tauro Port.
Strengthening the waterfront’s “middle ground” on a regional, urban and outside scale, creating a pathway that amplifies connectivity, activating permanent civic, sporting and social functions along with those ports more specifically, is a connectivity project that transcends infrastructure and related objects.
The two basins and the green corridor from north to south
The construction of a passenger terminal in the outer pier area, the redevelopment of the existing buildings and their conversion into offices, in the recreational boat area, in “Banchina Vecchia di Levante”, the implementation of the berths and the integration with a new shelter in the inner dock are interventions that prove and amplify the value of their design in the green plug.
The comprehensive master plan envisages the introduction of an additional cruise activity, to incorporate a new tourism function within the port, thus incorporating technical volumes, cold ironing and berths. A 1,100 square meter terminal, 800 of which are outdoors with adjacent parking areas, will welcome cruise crossings. The station area interacts with the general green system connected to the park. The station itself insists on a green board, a true welcome yard.
restart existing buildings; A marina was built for mega yachts with a berth parallel to the quay, thus creating a service line for the berths. The hydrofoil mooring area has been enhanced with new berths and new shelter for passengers who use them. Part of the existing volumes is demolished to clean the area, creating a suitable network of streams/paths: those in the service berth and the bicycle/pedestrian area that allow for gentle mobility at an elevated level. The front part of the aquarium is intended for mega yachts. The shelter takes on a compositional value, an attraction, a blue attraction, and a relaxation area to entertain the waiting of the waterboats.
pedestrian cycle path
A pedestrian bike path creates a direct connection to the Santa Caterina station between the airport and the city. It runs parallel to the separation wall from the railway for a distance of three and a half kilometers and then connects to a section located near the waterfront. To ensure safety with respect to its proximity to the railway hub, it develops on staggered levels with respect to the height of the berth. It therefore reads like a changing bar that contributes to the definition of atypical vertical landscapes on several levels that are grafted onto the horizontal. Rest points and views are defined on the green border of the linear garden, in relation to the course path.
“The regeneration of an urban area always passes through transport, mobility and infrastructure. In the case of the port of Reggio Calabria, the gentle connection incorporated in a green urban project creates a multidisciplinary infrastructure: from a social point of view, from an individual and collective comfort, to enhance a sense of belonging to places. To Reggio Calabria, Connectivity is a redeeming factor for a city with a very high potential that is struggling to take off,” said Alfonso Femia, Design for All, Connect to the Zone, a high-performance concept informed by high levels of active efficiency. And the space ensures a high quality of life for the indoor and outdoor environments, these are the basic design requirements. The aim of these interventions is to include the port of Reggio Calabria in the international cruise circuit, effectively relaunching the city and the entire strait.
The Linear Park
Respect for the environment and the use of renewable sources are key reference elements: photovoltaic and wind energy; sediment removal strategies, with comprehensive improvement of soil ecosystem services, reduction of runoff in case of heavy rainfall, and filtering and disinfection of rainwater; Expansion and compression works for green spaces entering the port area from the city.
The park project includes dense green on vegetable soil, flat garden, alternating fruit and olive trees with spontaneous herbal treatment alternating with dense Mediterranean scrub areas near the station tunnel, and intense green on vegetable soil / green space with herbaceous plants is reported Typical of marine areas, trees in large isolated sequence or in rows of small and medium-sized oak olive trees, tree-lined promenade, open spaces in green and water field, inaccessible terraces with dry Mediterranean plants, holm oaks, juniper , olive trees, soft oaks, Mediterranean plants on the ground, mulch in hay or shavings, creating a vegetable wall using an existing abutment with netting inserts.
Implementation and funding times
AdSP dello Stretto has estimated the costs of all these interventions, including those related to the nature of the plant’s engineering and seabed maintenance, at approximately 33,000,000 with works expected to be completed by 2026.
These resources are all available and already funded:
– in the amount of 15 million euros from the state budget for 2021 (Cannizzaro Amendment);
– 6,500,000 euros financed by PNRR for special economic zones;
– For the rest, for about 11.5 million euros financed from the independent budget of the AdSP programme.
It is expected that bids for the design of individual interventions will begin in the coming months in order to provide the necessary projects and licenses by the end of 2023. In 2024 it is expected that contracting and start of works will be completed.
The mega-president commented on the presentation of the first concept of the master plan drawn up by Atelier(s) Femia: “The port of Reggio Calabria, according to joint planning with the municipal administration, should become a passenger port integrated with the city and the waterfront through the interventions in order to create the Museum of the Mediterranean and the redevelopment of Rione Candeloro. It was therefore necessary to develop a comprehensive vision for development capable of combining the functions of the port with the needs of the direct use of those spaces by citizens and tourists. The proposed solutions would make it possible to reduce operating areas to a minimum with access restrictions to comply with security regulations, and to strengthen the areas of Other port with more direct functions for livability. The removal of the cement silos, which are nearing completion, and the demolition of the old buildings at the root of the old quay of Levante, which will be planned as soon as possible, are the first signs of change that will transform the port into a sitting room in the city.”
Atelier(s) Alfonso Femia (Genoa, Milan, Paris) encompasses all areas of design, from residential and office architecture, to retail, to restoring culture spaces, to masterplans and urban renewal projects with a vision at the forefront of environmental aspects and sustainability. He is internationally known for designing iconic venues and landmarks in France (the Docks of Marseille) and in Italy (the Rome headquarters of BNL / BNP Paribas Group, Frigoriferi Milanesi and The Corner in Milan). In 2020 he won a competition to redevelop and enhance the Italian mint in Rome. There are 60 people who make up the workshop team with diverse skills that integrate and enhance the multidisciplinary approach. The studio has won numerous awards and has been selected in exhibitions for the Venice Architecture Biennale and for the European Mies van der Rohe Prize, in different years. International and Italian magazines and individual texts are devoted to the created works.
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