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Grugliasco's development plan map

Grugliasco: the Town Development Plan

1 Objectives of the Development Plan

Since its enfeoffment by Vittorio Amedeo II in the 17th century, Grugliasco has been an integral part of the urban dynamics of the plane of Turin. In the 17th and 18th centuries it supplied the agricultural produce required by the city; in the 19th century, during the early phase of industrialization, Grugliasco became a centre of manufacturing; after the Second World War its territory accommodated the urban expansion and decentralization caused by the development of the car industry. Today, as a result of the decline of the industrial sector, Grugliasco serves as an important commercial centre for the entire area.
The new Development Plan is based on our clear understanding of this state of affairs. It recognizes the need to find alternatives to the overwhelmingly commercial nature of the present development of the town. These are pursued through :
A search for "metropolitan functions" which will enable it to change from being a dependent nucleus of Turin to being a centre identifiable by its very own particular functions; such functions must provide it with a specific role both within the region and beyond.
An upgrading of the urban area through the creation of an urban park of metropolitan importance to be based on the expansion of the biopotential of the natural environmental ecosystem and the restoration of the countryside and its landscape value.
The specific objectives of the new Development Plan reflect the aims of the Coordinated Intermunicipal Plan, namely containment of land consumption, reconciliation of the transformation process and the conservation of resources; protection of the environment and the creation of an integrated network of new urban centres.

2. Urban Form

The Development Plan pays attention to the following issues : Socio-demographic changes showing both a trend in population decrease and an increase in the number of family units. A demand for housing and, in meeting it, the need to provide better living conditions.
Changes in the space requirements of productive activities, from the need for large covered areas to the smaller scale requirements of advanced industries.
An ever-increasing need for integrated services, not merely at municipal level, which have the force to organise and give new identity to the urban form, namely the piazza, the arcades, the gallery.
The need to upgrade the urban landscape through better use of historic buildings and the recovery of the architectural-environmental assets such as villas, farms, historical routes and waterways.
The central idea of the Plan is to promote the interaction and formal reorganisation of the built areas and the open spaces over the entire territory, so that they are ultimately completely transformed by design.
The urban nucleus is defined by a strongly marked boundary between town and countryside through the creation of what could be called a "rampart-avenue".
A direct consequence of this decision is the project for a new borgo, or residential area to be situated on the one and only area earmarked for residential expansion.
The borgo is located along the central pedestrian axis punctuated by piazzas; the plan respects the local tradition of low-rise housing by restricting the height of new developments to two or three floors.

3. The University Science Centre

The large agricultural area in the centre of Grugliasco's territory provides the most relevant planning hypothesis and will serve as the engine of change for the town over the next few years. It is to accommodate the Science Centre of Turin University, to serve 12,000 students, which is considered an optimal number for a university centre. However its integration into the town must be properly planned and managed to avoid the emergence of an extraneous population adversely affecting the life and economy of the town. The buildings will be located inside a large park of nearly two million square metres and will accommodate and integrate several different functions.
The academic development rises and develops along a long tree-lined avenue that cuts the territory on a north-west to south-east axis, continuing further to the south-west where it reaches an important architectural complex of the Guarini school. The axis asserts its presence even along the web of lateral links, and on the imprint of the ex Psychiatric Hospital, enhancing it and linking it with the existing urban fabric. The project simulations produced so far present the buildings in the form of large green amphitheatres close to the various routes.
In such a landscape one finds the active teaching space of the University, a fully-developed nature park, a sports centre, other educational complexes, some agricultural activities and the established experimental activities of the Faculties of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine. In order to ensure that the project will be realised, it is linked to a variety of functions that will be of interest to various bodies, attracting institutional and private investment.

4. The Restructuring of Existing Areas

Careful consideration given to the existing town, or more precisely to the design of the existing town led to refinement of particulars, such as the need for an appropriate scale of insertions. The Plan is capable of identifying failures, inefficiencies, malfunctions of the town in the clearest possible way. It also tries to transcend the traditional zoning principle that has proved to be technically inadequate to deal with such an extensive upgrading exercise.
This outlook resulted in a series of projects or areas where intervention is feasible, in which solutions do not derive from conventional norms and regulations applicable to urban areas, but rather from investigations that define all the complex parameters of the proposed transformation.
The basis for this was the work carried out at the outset of the Development Plan and consisted in identifying all possible "project locations", namely empty sites as well as areas and buildings which, because of obsolescence or dilapidation or functional inadequacy could be restructured or upgraded. Interventions are envisaged in one or two areas of major consistency as well as in a large number of areas of minor consistency but nonetheless of strategic importance for the upgrading of the territory.
Entrepreneurs who choose to use project provisions of the Plan will be exempted from the intermediate stage of approval by the executive. The aim is to combine the control of the territory at the hands of the community with speed of investment as demanded by the entrepreneurs.
Within the intervention areas there is also room for new projects of public building. No specific location in specialised areas has been envisaged for these developments, but preference was given to a model of small interventions inserted in well established residential areas.
Agricultural concerns have been the subject of detailed analysis in order to establish their productivity as well as their managements' long-term plans, i.e. whether they intend to maintain the status quo, extend or change their activities. More than anything else it was important to know the actual size and shape of the land belonging to these concerns, and their degree of fragmentation.
By defining the limits of development and the physical boundaries in which it can take place, the Plan intends to integrate the park and the agricultural areas in an organic way within a single project which will provide the opportunity for further development of agriculture.
The municipal territory of Grugliasco enjoys the very valuable asset of agricultural farm buildings, some still operating and others put to different uses. The Development Plan reinstates the importance of such buildings in the new landscape, suggesting a number of possible future uses for them.

State of the procedure
effective from july 20, 1999