THE GENOA PRÀ PROJECT DEMONSTRATES HOW INCLUDING A NEW SPORTS FACILITY AS PART OF THE REDEVELOPMENT OF AN ENTIRE AREA OF A CITY —IN THIS CASE, THE PARCO DI PONENTE AND PARCO DI LEVANTE—CAN BE INSTRUMENTAL IN BRINGING THE COMMUNITY TOGETHER.
Following the construction of the new Prà-Voltri port terminal in an area that previously was seafront ground, a buffer zone was established to separate residential areas from the port activities. The buffer provided room for green spaces and sports activities to help bring the community together and to enable people of all ages to use their free time in positive, healthy ways.
The buffer zone benefited from a series of infrastructure projects over the years—including the rerouting of a railway line, and the construction of a rowing center, a swimming pool and other sports facilities—but unfortunately over time, it had become very run down.
Thanks to the Liguria Regional Operational Program and grants from the European Regional Development Fund from 2007 to 2013, the Genoa City Council successfully implemented a series of redevelopment projects in the Prà district, restoring the buffer zone to its original purpose as a safe area for meeting with friends, participating in recreational activities and playing sports.
The buffer zone is divided into the Parco di Ponente (Achille Dapelo Park), which was completed and inaugurated in 2016 and features green space, a cycling track and play areas, and the Parco di Levante, which was completed in 2019 and housed a fully operational sports facility.
Before the completion of the Parco di Levante, which includes a regulation-size track with a multisport area in the infield, the Levante area already boasted two synthetic fields for 11-a-side and five-a-side soccer; a rowing center, which hosted the Historical Regatta of the Maritime Republics in 2018; a swimming pool accessible for people with disabilities; and numerous cycling paths.
One of those cycling paths connects the two parks, enabling visitors to take advantage of all sports activities Parco di Levante has to offer.
Parco di Levante was built on land formed from material that was recovered during excavations for the new Brignole and Fegino tunnels. Although this saved a considerable amount of money in developing the project, it also posed some risks for the construction of the athletics facility, including constructing a good subbase made of quality materials for the track.
The track and infield portion of the project was overseen by architect R. Grillo on behalf of the City Council and was executed by architect P. Raffetto from the Go-Up studio. Given the absence of any other such facilities in the western half of the city, the objective was to create a center with a full range of sports activities.
Prior to picking the track surface, the developers met with the Italian Olympic Committee to discuss applicable track surface regulations. The IOC also advised the developers about how the facility should look. Based on this information, the architects suggested using a prefabricated track, and the City Council selected MONDO’s Sportflex Super X 720, which is a prefabricated vulcanized rubber running track. In addition, for the infield, the Council chose MONDO’s Sportflex M, which is prefabricated vulcanized rubber multisport surface,
Not only did MONDO’s surfaces comply exactly with the facility’s flooring performance requirements, but they also were perfectly aligned with the safety and environmental sustainability standards for a sports facility intended to be used by people of all ages and abilities.
Thanks to advice provided by the MONDO technical office, from the construction’s earliest stages the project managers were able to implement all of the necessary measures to ensure the optimum preparation of the foundation, ensuring that it could be laid within the established timeframe and without any unexpected additional costs.
The sports facility also includes a small building, which was the responsibility of a team led by architect Ines Marasso and surveyor Alberto Ibatici that contains changing rooms, restrooms and showers. This enabled local schools to use them for physical education activities at the same time that the five-a-side soccer field can be rented by members of the public, guaranteeing the revenue needed to fund the facility’s upkeep.
Today, at long last, the redevelopment of the Prà and Parco del Levante district of Genoa is complete. In addition to the new sports facility, the area also features several enclosed green spaces, 110 parking spaces, a new road layout and a skate park—the only one of its kind in Liguria and one of the largest in the north of Italy.
As a result, the area has once again become a place for people to come together, and it is dedicated to those who love and respect their community and want to enjoy living there.