The environmental restoration of the Arcene quarry involves a very large area between the Treviglio-Bergamo railway line and provincial highway 144 to the south, partly used as a quarry and partly unused. The site’s strength is the presence of the railway, being made accessible by the regional rail service and quick connections with Bergamo. The environmental restoration of a quarry is a subject of particular interest in the plain between Milan, Bergamo and Brescia. Exhausted older quarries and newer ones opened also in relation to the works under way to improve the region’s road and rail infrastructures are present in the plain and impair its agricultural continuity and regular surface level.
Their restoration is no easy task, above all in financial terms. The reclamation of areas of extraction, infill to restore the ground level and work to ensure the safety of the sides are complicated and expensive operations. For this reason, the project maintains its economic feasibility in proposing the creation of a settlement, part on the quarry area and part on the adjoining land used for services, and taking advantage of its particular position and link with the infrastructures.
The location endows the project with both local and territorial breadth, its major measurements being drawn from the territorial axes and its minor measurements from the ancient boundaries of centuriation. Developing a functional mix that includes housing, shops, services and an ample amount of green areas and sports facilities, the complex is equipped with a system of low-impact streets, mostly through furrows in the ground, and a system of green trails and cycle tracks capable of establishing relations between the layout of the area and the lines and structure of centuriation.
Like the small plots once created during the phases of colonization or land reclamation, these macro and micro networks divide the areas earmarked for housing, with longitudinal sites capable of structuring the constructed part with the minimum consumption of land. Like a project for a new town, the plan permits the construction of a new settlement, a small “colony” near the railway line, through reclamation of the quarry area for the countryside and the settlement system.