The overall project proposed is a strategic reflection about the nature of the space between the city of Mantova and the water of the Lower Lake. The project identifies a new “middle territory” between the city and the water by redeveloping a system of underused, abandoned and degraded spaces, consisting of a sequence of collective spaces, each characterized by its own specific urban and public function, thanks to a strong public-private alliance.
Reconsidering these spaces means articulating them so as to welcome and connect the surrounding urban and natural systems, without affirming the primacy of each other.
The three new squares envisaged by the project do not only constitute an original system of collective spaces for Mantova, but summarize some of the main characteristics and values of the Mantova’s territory: its relationship with water, with the land, the presence of nature and culture. In fact, the new “middle territory” relates – also on a large scale – both with the city and with the water: with the daily life of the city, with its cultural and productive itineraries.
The interventions foreseen in this stage include the following areas:
- San Nicolò area: a former military area of significant historical and monumental value, inside which there are five vaulted halls and a powder warehouse, which have recently passed from state to municipal ownership and which for decades have been disused and had no specific function. The Gradaro military complex (former Jewish cemetery) in the San Nicolò area (Piazza della Terra) was declared of cultural interest by the MIBACT Decree of 8 May 2013, Regional Directorate for Cultural Heritage and Landscape of Lombardy.
All of the buildings mentioned above are in a state of neglect, although of great historical and cultural value, and are not accessible to the community.
- Former ceramics factory area: a privately owned disused industrial area on the western edge of the San Nicolò area, with a high level of urban decay and deterioration, which in the past was the subject of numerous projects that were never implemented.
Within the area is the disused building of the former ceramics factory, the only factory in Mantua at the beginning of the 20th century, which distinguished the working-class district to the south of the city with its chimney, which is now subject to a landscape restriction under Legislative Decree 42/2004, established by a Ministerial Decree of 13 October 1977. A place subject to uncontrolled urban waste dumping in the past. The municipality has intervened on this property with specific ordinances to restore the safety and sanitary conditions of the area.