Soil is an essential resource: it ensures prosperity, promotes biodiversity, and safeguards the memory of sites as well as the originality of landscapes.
The heart of the programme of Pistoia Capital of Culture is the depiction of Pistoia as a model of an average European city, which invests in green economy and on a sustainable life style that ecologically reconverts public and private heritage through urban redevelopment and regeneration projects rather than consuming the natural resources.
As such, the Municipal Administration is committed to limit soil consumption, as provided by the municipal planning regulations, and to foster the recovery of the soil. Pistoia is one of the few Italian cities that can boast three agricultural areas next to the historical city; Pistoia is determined to preserve such value. During the last three years, thanks to the approval of modifications to the urban regulation, 40.719 square meters of agricultural land and 11.330 square meters of private green space have been recovered, for a total of over five hectares (51.509 square meters) of land subtracted from overbuilding.
The efforts for the recovery of the land were made through the approval of redevelopment plans, as well as through the participation in the experimental project of “urban regeneration” promoted by the Region and by Anci in November 2014. The Municipality identified a study area south of the railway station, which is of particular importance as it is believed to complete and improve the infrastructure system of the city as far as road systems, services, and recreation areas are concerned. Important transformations, many of which already in process or close to completion, are planned. This area has already welcomed the new Guardia di Finanza barracks, San Jacopo hospital and part of the road link to Porta Nuova, which will be completed with a junction between the freeway and the existing roundabout in Via Dell’Annona. The recovery of the of the area of the former del Ceppo hospital is another very important project: it aims to promote the development of the city without consuming new land, but rather returning it. The area will be transformed into a neighbourhood, which is sustainable, completely pedestrian, immersed in nature, and of high environmental, urban and architectural quality. The foreseen demolition works will create space for new public areas, pedestrian and cycling paths, for a new park, a new big square, and important socio-health, administrative, museum and exhibition services, as well as for three new residential buildings on the margins of the area. In total, 75% of the foreseen services will be public. According to the project, 8.000 square meters of covered surface area will be demolished, while 4.200 square meters will be rebuilt. Around 4000 square meters of land will be recovered and destined to public green spaces. In total, connectivity and green areas will cover around 50% of the whole surface, which means 31.500 square meters of the total 76.562 square meters available.