Our projects

The regeneration of the ancient prison complex of Le Murate in the historical centre of Florence is a successful experience of integrated planning, which has restored an area that has historically been cut off from the urban and social fabric of the Santa Croce neighbourhood. The project is based on the city council’s consistent support for a redevelopment which has brought social housing back into the city centre, while also providing new public spaces and pedestrian access routes, an innovative enterprise incubator, an art centre, studios and commercial space.

Executive summary

The regeneration of the ancient prison complex of Le Murate in the historical centre of Florence is a successful experience of integrated planning, which has restored an area that has historically been cut off from the urban and social fabric of the Santa Croce neighbourhood. The project is based on the city council’s consistent support for a redevelopment which has brought social housing back into the city centre, while also developing a multi-sectoral range of interventions including new public spaces and pedestrian access routes, an innovative enterprise incubator, an art centre and studios, as well as commercial space.

The project has had a long gestation; since the 1990s, it has been the object of design competitions and of a study by Renzo Piano, who provided the first guidelines for the redevelopment. Work started in 1995 when a consistent national funding source was made available for social housing, and since then the Office for Social Housing (ERP) of the Municipality of Florence has managed the job. It has been carried out by a partnership under the strong leadership of the municipality, relying on the coordinated effort of different city departments and other institutional actors to produce a multi-sectoral intervention. The project has also benefitted from participation in the URBACT network REPAIR, which was dedicated to the regeneration of disused military bases. This led to the design of a local action plan envisaging the integration of different actions and identifying funding sources for the completion of the project. Although EU investment came at a later stage, the project is partially funded by the ERDF in the framework of a Plan for Integrated Sustainable Urban Development (PIUSS) which responds to the Regional Operative Programme’s Priority Axis 5: Making full use of local resources, sustainable development of the territory.

Fostering the vision of the ‘City of Knowledge’ produced by the PIUSS, the EU-funded action focused on creating in the Le Murate complex a pole for innovative enterprises, with a start-up programme hosting up to 10 new enterprises and spin-offs as well as a service centre. The Urban Park for Innovation aims to create synergies and collaborations with a number of bodies including the neighbouring University of Florence, the Business School, and various foundations. Today about three-quarters of the total surface has been completed, but the Le Murate complex is already fully inhabited. Its public space is full of life, and cultural, social and commercial activities are increasing day by day, confirming the accuracy of the initial intuitions about what was best for the area’s regeneration.

Download the case studyDownload the analytical fiche


Technical information

Name

Opening up the prison

Member State and Region

Italia, Regione Toscana, Firenze

Duration of project

4 years (2010-2014), initiated in 1996

Funding

Total budget: 26 000 000 € - ERDF contribution: 690 000 €

Cohesion Policy Objective

Convergence

Managing Authority

Regione Toscana Directorate General for Economic Development

CCI nr of OP

2007IT162PO012 - “POR CReO” (Creativity and Innovation)

Contact

Marco Toccafondi, Officer for Social Housing Programmes, City of Florence.

Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel. +39 055 2769618

Web

http://www.lemurate.comune.fi.it/lemurate

Keywords

Urban renewal, Social infrastructure, Culture

     
TOP