An Italian town to be renewed based on Hungarian designers’ plans

FM newsroom – city design, sustainability. The historic centre of the Sicilian town of Mazzarino is to be renovated based on the winning design submitted by a Hungarian engineering, design, and consultancy company. The 800-year-old town will be renewed with pedestrian-friendly design, traffic management, green spaces, and innovative public spaces.

Mazzarino, founded in the 13th century and currently having a population of 11,000, is located in the south-central part of Sicily. The city – rich in baroque architectural heritage – is to become more sustainable, attractive, and competitive by rethinking the downtown infrastructure and implementing a green transition for the local economy, reports.

Three pillars of renewal

The renewal process proposed by the Hungarian design and consultancy company DANU is based on three pillars:

  • the recomposition and interconnection of the historic city centre,
  • the development of safer and more efficient transportation,
  • the real estate utilisation and climate adaptation interventions necessary for economic and social sustainability.

“Previously, the city did not have a unified image, so we connected the individual spaces and routes along the main street into a coherent system. Under the leadership of the urban planning division, we were able to think of complex urban regeneration solutions to improve the historic core of the town. Getting to know Mazzarino, which is almost a thousand years old, required thorough preparation, so in addition to the data received, we used satellite maps and image archives, social media sites and even did interviews with local actors, and used a wide range of online information sources,” Samu Szemerey, DANU’s Director of Architecture and Urbanism pointed out.

A city in line with 21st-century expectations

The design proposal restores the baroque squares and realises a more open network of spaces with new public functions. It also creates smart street lighting and operationally focused, increased green spaces in line with 21st-century expectations.

Increased pedestrian surfaces, organised public spaces, reorganised parking, and reduced vehicle traffic will contribute to safer transportation. At the entrance to the city centre, a new car park and e-bike rental facilities will be established. As part of the tourism development, a training centre will be established in Mazzarino, while programs utilising empty premises will also help young people stay in the city.

 „In many cases, the submitted design approached the objectives of the competition in a new way, including the soft tools of urban development, which particularly impressed the jury. Such solutions were the creation of a new urban gateway by connecting the backyards, a new service centre serving as the gate to Mazzarino, and a new public square created by streamlining traffic, which from now on welcomes locals and visitors to the city as a recreational space. The piazza (marketplace) has been developed as a shaded community space, with a unique rainwater and irrigation water treatment system to care for local plants,”- adds Barbara Bozsik, urban designer and head of the urbanistic division.




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