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Here we are! Changing the world and saving cities together! Having fun and sharing good food too…
Have a look at our fruitful collaborative week in France!
In a few days, all European partners are going to meet in France and spend a week designing the sustainable European city of the future. Day-to-day pictures and stories should be posted if we’re not too busy changing the world, so stay tuned!
The first project year of Erasmus + S.A.V.E Cities is finishing and we would like to thank all the partners for a great year! We had a lot of fun with this project and have certainly learned a lot about sustainable development and different ways to build better urban environments in the future. Many special thanks especially to our German and British partners for the very productive project meetings!
Have a nice summer, everyone and see you again soon!
Today the students all stayed at school and another group presented their research on the Social Housing project in Via Cenni, Milan. This huge residential area named ‘Cenni di cambiamento’ which means a sign of change is the biggest sustainable residential project in Europe.
Only ecological material was used to build the 124 flats rather close to the centre of Milan. It hosts young people who have moved away from home allowing them to pay an affordable rent or mortgage.
After the first break we had an expert, the architect Alessio Battistella who came to talk about sustainable architecture. He is the president of ARCò, an organization which specializes in architecture and cooperation.
Two of his past projects were to build sustainable buildings in developing countries such as in Palestine and Bolivia by using recycled materials and by teaching the local population simple techniques so that they can be more independent and environmentally friendly.
He told us about the three pillars of sustainability that should be balanced among the economy, social life and the envirornment of any community. He showed us that one of the most important projects was the building of a school only by using recycled material like plastic bottle tops and old tyres.
Tomorrow will be the last day of the French partner’s stay. The whole morning will be dedicated to the presentations of all the groups according to their aspect of sustainable architecture. The French will present their work done together with the English and finally Veronique Lavis will prepare an entertaining Kahoot quiz on the topic.
We will certainly all be sad that the week is over. Ciao a tutti.
Today we spent the whole day visiting Milan. We took the train to Porta Garibaldi and here we visited the Porta Nuova area. This is an entirely redeveloped area where the buidings have all been built according to sustainable criteria to exploit the sunlight and the use of plants to regulate temperatures.
The vertical wood, two high-rise buildings, have combined the desire of an urban life with a profound desire for natural surroundings. In fact, both buildings have big plants on every balcony and on the roof too which reduce the temperatures in summer and produce oxygen. It was designed by Boeri Architects.
Another example, is the Unicredit tower, one of the tallest skyscarpers in Italy. It was designed by Cesar Pelli, an Argentinian architect, and its the headquarters of Unicredit, an important Italian bank. It was awarded for its aesthetic and functional design not only inside for its open workspaces but also for the exterior. Outside the building we also admired the famous Piazza Gae Aulenti square which is dedicated to a woman architect specialized in the renovation of buildings.
After the first stop we continued walking to the heart of Milan. We saw the Brera art academy and finally we reached the Scala Opera House, the Vittorio Emanuele Arcade and the magnificent Duomo. After a long lunch break and some time for shopping we walked to the Sforzesco Castle to see the Rondanini Pietà, Michelangelo’s last but unfinished masterpiece. It was now time to go back home. It had been a tiring but wonderful day.
In the morning, both Italian and French students went to the University of Castellanza, commonly known as the LIUC. After a short presentation by three Italian students the group went on a guided tour: first they visited the park around the university then they went inside the library to hear about its history. They learnt that it was created by 300 enterpreneurs to create a University that taught economics, law and technology for the real needs of today’s business world.
The buildings once hosted the Cantoni cotton mill but after its decline, academic activities started making it the seventh biggest non-state university in Italy. They learnt that the University was named after Carlo Cattaneo, a great Lombard economist, who had the idea of combining the three elements of any traditional economy: raw material, labour and capital.
It is certainly a sustainable university because the whole structure was re-used and the nature around it was completely conserved. Another aspect was the planning of the inside areas in order make it easier and quicker for students to move around saving time and energy.
When the French arrived we showed them our school and then they had a welcoming breakfast. They attended two lessons and then the topic was introduced. Lunch was in the canteen and then we started our walk through Busto Arsizio.
The first stop was the textiles museum, as this is a perfect example of redevelopment of an old cotton mill.Today there are fencing competitions and the fencing museum. Then we saw nearby the two villas of Ottolini and Tovaglieri, both in the liberty style, which were owned by the Ottolini family who also possessed the cotton mill.
Then we continued to walk to Palazzo Cicogna which today is the library of Busto Arsizio and the Town Hall itself. Finally, the students got to Piazza San Giovanni which is the heart of the town. In front of each building and of other buildings which we were not able to see, such as Villa Nicora and the Molini Marzioli, the Italian students briefly gave a short presentation.