reorganisation of the railway system in the Florentine metropolitan area
and the regeneration of the adjacent areas.
case study is also available in pdf format.
SECTOR: Transport /
Urban engineering COUNTRY:Italy
construction of the new Florence - Bologna railway (which will be completed
by 2008) will allow the reuse of the existing railtracks within the Florentine
region and their integration with new lines, thus providing a rhythmic railroad
service on a metropolitan level (Sfm). An agreement concerning the programme was
reached in 1997 by the Italian Government, the Railway Companies and the Local
Administrations, and a first draft was drawn up in 1999.
Some 34 town administrations
belonging to 4 provinces (Florence, Prato, Pistoia and Arezzo) are involved in
this transportation service. During the Summer 1999 some of these, with Prato
acting as co-ordinator promoted a "Town planning and building regeneration programme"
for the areas adjacent to the stations and stops along the metropolitan surface
lines. This had the dual purpose to improve the access and backup facilities at
the stops and at the same time to create the opportunities for urban renewal in
a sustainable development perspective, thus attracting improvements in production,
commerce and tourism. The programme gathered 95 proposals at different scales,
concerning initiatives both public and private, classifiable within the following
five main categories:
reorganisation of the railway areas; actions mainly relating to the provision
of parking spaces at existing stops. Some, however, concern the creation of new
- actions concerning
the road network (mainly subways and underpasses for the improvement of the connections
within the urban areas crossed by rail tracks).
renewal and regeneration of derelict areas (this is the most important category
of actions,namely involving the transformation of vast derelict industrial sites).
construction and reactivation of productive and commercial areas;
actions involving the improvement of the environmental values of some areas (environmental
reclamation and creation of new parks).
Railway Company. Programme for the reorganisation of the railway system,
Investments are estimated in
approx. 60 million euros, 49% of which are already available: 4.6 million
come public money, 24.8 from private funds. The remaining 51% has yet
to be found, mainly from public sources. The goals of the programme are
important, but many deficiencies affected the methodology and the conents.
Mainly, it doesn't follow a real metropolitan policy, having collected
existing fragmented proposals.
Proposal for the development of the railway stations and the renewal of
the abandoned areas
this programme as a starting point, a research work carried out in the Department
of Town-Planning of the University of Florence has monitored the future development
possibilities and has defined some methodological criteria for setting out an
overall planning strategy.
The purpose of the research work was to define the
principles of a methodology for a better integration between infrastructure and
transport policies on one side and urban strategies at a metropolitan level on
the other: the first ones being directed to the development of public rail transportation
systems, thus balancing the modal split in the Florentine area, the second ones
to the urban requalification, the creation of new central poles, the promotion
of a number of interventions aimed at the functional re-organization.
the registration and the analyses of all stops -those already existing as well
as those planned -on a basis of homogeneous parameters (access and interconnection
with other forms of transport, current traffic loads, presence of facilities,
transformability of areas and structures) has allowed an assessment, line by line,
of the relative role which they can perform within the metropolitan system as
well as the use which can be associated to them.
A reference has been made
to 5 categories:
Local access to the network (possibility of becoming the node of a new centrality
on a local level);
External access to the metropolitan area (main intennodal exchange nodes};
C. Access to service sector poles on a metropolitan level;
D. Access to production districts;
E. Access to environmental systems.
The analysis of the railway stops has been carried out through a system by
which marks -according to a pre-established value scales -are awarded taking into
account some parameters relating to three judgement areas" valid both for existing
(47} and planned (28} stops:
public services have been grouped together under the heading " Attraction poles"
and the scores awarded are different in relation to the level: local (schools,
health centres, branches of public offices), supra-local (high schools, hospitals,
sports centres, shopping areas) and regional (airports, universities, cultural
poles, exhibition centres and shopping malls).
1. intermodality (provision of car-parking spaces, bus stops, taxi ranks, areas
for parking cars and taking bikes, exchange parking spaces, interconnection planned
with regional lines and/ or with other rail modals };
2. access (road, pedestrian-cycle on the basis of a 15 minute isochrones);
3. surrounding urban "load" (presence of productive activity , buildings or "attraction
In this way a matrix of the
"urban role" of the various stops was obtained.
A second matrix referring
to the role of the railway (number of trains per day) was drawn up referring to
the draft of the Sfm programme.
The values regarding each stop were then made
comparable and averaged, thus obtaining a new table which sums up the urban and
the transport role.
According to the draft of the official programme the activation of
the Sfm would mean an 84% increase in the volume of the railway service in the
involved area (from 12.714 trains km/day to 23.412 trains km/day). This corresponds
to an increase of a 25% in relation to the whole regional service of Tuscany (which
is nowadays of 41.235 trains km/day). The new offer refers to a number of about
1,100,000 people living in th earea, against a present passenger traffic of only
73,000 units a day. Accepted reference values do not exist for town planning aspects.
The programmes connected with the activation of Sfm are in accordance with
the principles of the sustainable development agreed on at World level during
the Rio Conference (1992), by the Aalborg Charter, the Istanbul Habitat II agenda
and taken up on a regional level by the Tuscan legislation and territorial governance
tools (LR 5/95; regional planning for territorial organisation; Territorial planning
for the co-ordination of the involved provinces).
The planning and building
regeneration programme for the areas adjacent to the stations and stops of the
system figures as a "PRUSST", that is a complex planning tool introduced in 1998
by the Italian Ministry of Public Works which meets the planning requirements
at a metropolitan scale stated by the national law 142/90.
is oriented to the improvement of the official programme in order to make the
public rail transport system the backbone of a co-ordinated urban renewal and
to give unitary solutions to the different problems. It is based on the following
character of such operations and the proximity values assumed by each interchange
node in relation to all the others make the financial involvement of private investors
possible in the case of complex initiatives of a prevalent public nature.
and re-balancing of urban functions;
improvement of conditions concerning the access to facilities and services;
regeneration of disused or underused areas and the consequent reduction of the
consumption of the territory for new activities.
widespread redevelopment of the urban areas involved starting from the interchange
- promotion of
the public transport as opposed to the private one, freeing up the congested urban
the evaluation is based on objective parameters of the urban potentials which
the different knot-points of the network (the stops) can assume. These parameters
can be a support for decisions, allowing a flexible programming of the interventions.
In many urban and metropolitan situations, the railway is the backbone of
the industrial city which, hit by a crisis, has left the areas adjacent to the
lines and stations with extensive abandoned production areas, open air depots,
disused or underused freight yards.
The transformation of these areas, combined
with the introduction of new railway services on a local scale which improve the
urban accessibility , is obviously possible wherever these conditions are present.
In particular, the reorganisation of the railway services connected to the construction
of the high speed line has allowed cities such as Bologna, Turin, Milan, Naples
and Rome to plan an urban renewal around the new stops along the metropolitan
network and the new railway flyovers.
The criteria used in this case have
been previously applied to the regional railway system in a study carried out
by the Lombardy Region. These criteria are aimed at evaluating the initiatives
and the role which can be attributed to the various stops within the system and
are the basis, in all these situations, of a methodology useful for the strategic
co-ordination of the single operations.
On a working level, the new complex
planning tools, including the Prusst, allow to co-ordinate the actions among the
different administrative bodies involved, thus overcoming more easily the problems
and helping in the involvement of private partners.
Integrated programmes connected to infrastructure system reordering have already
been carried out or started in many European countries, frequently relying on
synergies between public and private operators. The model developed by the University
of Florence with the singling out of the performance requisites of the interchange
areas relative to classes of recurrent urban situations can be widely used as
an assessment method among alternative strategies.
IMPACT ON SUSTAINABILITY
Marco Massa and Francesco Alberti, Universita degli Studi di Firenze,
Dipartimento di Ur
banistica e Pianificazione Territoriale, via Micheli 2,50100
integrativo 3 marzo 1999 tra Ministero dei Trasporti, Fs, Tav Spa, Regione
Toscana, EE.LL., Allegato 1, Area metropolitana Firenze-Prato-Pistoia. Servizio
Ferrovia rio Metropolitano.
di Prusst ai sensi del DM. LL. PP.n 1169/1998, Riqualificazione urbanistica
ed edilizia delle aree limitrofe alle stazioni e fermate delle linee della metropolitana
di superficie, Comune capofila: Pistoia, 1999.
M. Massa, Ferrovie metropolitane e rinnovo urbano: il caso della Toscana centrale,
in R. Innocenti e M.Massa (a cura di) Progetti d'infrastrutture e piani
territoriali in Toscana, Florence 2001.