Managing the evolution of a urban system. The UNESCO site of Crespi d’Adda

Maria Paola Borgarino, Paolo Gasparoli, Anna Teresa Ronchi, Matteo Scaltritti


The workers’ village of Crespi d’Adda, registered in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1995, consists of a large industrial complex of approximately 90,000 square metres, abandoned in 2004 and made up of around a hundred residential buildings which were once inhabited by local workers. The management of the transformation of a “living” urban system of unquestionable historical and documental value, like Crespi d’Adda, is a challenging issue, highly uncertain and controversial but, at the same time, absolutely urgent and necessary. The complexity of the site and the delicate balance between its constitutive elements means we have to consider the protection of the values and the tension towards change not as parts of irreconcilable conflict, but as different needs which must be integrated within a coherent management tool. One of the main points of this strategy, outlined in the Management Plan, is the experimental and normative research on the redevelopment of residential buildings.


management; urban system; industrial heritage; Crespi d’Adda

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