Fondazione Cariplo

New community centre for Milan’s Parco Trotter

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The Community Hub at the Ex Convitto Parco Trotter is an urban and human regeneration project promoted by Fondazione Cariplo and part of the Lacittàintorno programme.

Redesigning areas in a sustainable way by reusing spaces that have fallen into disuse over the years; designing neighbourhoods with a participatory approach, making their inhabitants the protagonists; working in a widespread manner with micro-interventions that can be implemented over time, trying to bring different energies together: these are the themes investigated by Fondazione Cariplo with the Lacittàintorno programme, which involves citizens of fragile urban contexts to improve the quality of urban life and create "new geographies" in the city.

An exemplary case of this approach is the new intervention involving the former Convitto Trotter boarding school: an iconic place for the neighbourhood, and for the whole city of Milan. Since 1922 it has represented a meeting place and social hub for the inhabitants of the area, and an environment in which to experiment with innovative teaching and pedagogical practices. In order to preserve the socio-cultural value of the former boarding school – which in recent years had been in a state of abandonment and degradation – the Municipality of Milan and Fondazione Cariplo in 2018 promoted a tender for the management of the area, so as to reactivate the spaces and rethink the uses while respecting its spirit. 

The winner of the call is a group of five Milanese organisations: La Fabbrica di Olinda, Cooperativa Centro Servizi Formazione, Cooperativa Comin, Associazione Ludwig and Associazione Salumeria del design. The consortium presented a project with a strong impact on social inclusion and the general context: from vocational training to reuse practices and the promotion of culture in various forms. The pivot around which this citizenship workshop will develop will be a Community Food Hub: a place for meetings and exchanges between inhabitants and others, a market place for social and labour inclusion, food, art, culture, reuse, training, sustainability.

An intermediate step prior to the signing of the agreement between the Municipality of Milan, Fondazione Cariplo and the partnership organisations was an intense phase of co-design involving all the parties and covering the various levels of the project: architectural, economic and value. On 17 June 2021, an agreement was signed for the management of the building for a period of 17 years.

This intervention is one of the elements of the slow and collective urban transformation of the area to the north of the city. Another recent project in the area is in fact Tunnel Boulevard, which intends to enhance the entire cycle and pedestrian path of Via Pontano, a recognised centre for Milanese urban art, which will be taken care of through the activation of a collaboration pact. These are in addition to the 'Piazze Aperte' programme promoted by the City of Milan.

Community Point of the former Convitto Parco Trotter
Organisations involved:
La Fabbrica di Olinda, Cooperativa Centro Servizi Formazione, Cooperativa Comin, Associazione Ludwig, and Associazione Salumeria del Design
Promoted by:
Fondazione Cariplo
Comune di Milano
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