Operation Plan
Genoa, Italy

The City of Genoa promoted the Operation Plan as a dynamic solution for the Old Town and commercial port to satisfy qualitative rather than quantitative standards, implemented by carrying out integrated projects that unite the structural changes with initiatives designed to promote economic and social regeneration.

The recovery of the Old Town aims, on one hand, at the valorization of the existing complex system of social, cultural and economic relationships and, on the other hand, at the functional use of information and communication technologies, assuring: 

the introduction of more economic activities;
the reduction of physical and social degradation;
the guarantee of more safety and cleanliness.

The urban structure of Genoa developed in a unique way and the dense historical substance of diverse origin of high aesthetical value gives Genoa particular genius loci.

Genoa was the for more then a century a major industrial and financial center with great industrial development and the role of maritime pole. The city underwent in the last decades a deep change from an industrial site to an advanced service center of information technology, electronics and telecommunications and several funds and efforts were invested into culture and tourism, however, the industrial connotations remain, defining a city of "factories and factory workers".

Contemporary strategic design brings the new perception of Genoa as a port, tourist and cultural city oriented towards facilities, using the splendid old part of the city, connection with the sea, and restoring significant architectural heritage. 

Centro Storico and Porto Antico 
The old town of Genoa stretches between the sea and the hills behind, along the ancient port, which constituted the vital resource for the development of the urban structure.

It covers 198 hectares (quarters of the Pre-Molo-Maddalena district - 113 hectares and the historical seaport - 85 hectares), inhabited by approx. 23,000.

The area is characterized by high spatial density and fragile historical structures, constructed upon medieval street scheme, hosting residential use, public services, shops and handicrafts.

The ancient port was annexed to the historical centre after the relocation of the industrial activities to the West, contributing to reduction of the environmental and social distress of the ancient part of the city.

The historical centre is presently characterized by peculiar demographic and living conditions, and co-existing contrast socio-economic situations. The redevelopment of the historical centre has some critical aspects - high building density, structural character, great extension, and accessibility. Numerous buildings have been neglected; some limited areas of the Centro Storico are still affected by safety problems, due to structural decay in streets and real estate structure. Lack of accessibility and absence of proper light led in the past to consequent abandon of the street as a place of commercial activities.

In recent years a general process of rehabilitation took place, following a major development programme of the Public Administration. It aimed not only in general restoration of the conditions and structures, but also in provision of opportunities for improved social relations.

Piano Operativo as a Dynamic Solution for the Old Town and Commercial Port 
To assure a new perception for Genoa, a need for complex and ambitious renovation program for the historical centre, parallel with the redefinition of the old port, was recognized. The general guideline of the administration for this target programme is to satisfy qualitative rather than quantitative standards, implemented by carrying out integrated projects that unite the structural changes with initiatives designed to promote economic and social regeneration. 

A comprehensive programme of rehabilitation of the historic centre is already going on, in order to restore the life quality within the historical structures: several operative and strategic projects run on the historic center, lead by the public/private partnerships. In all of them the aim is to renovate the physical conditions, upgrade the public services, and revitalize the urban economy and mobility for higher attractiveness of Genoa as a cultural site.
A complete renewal of the waterfront of the city is taking place, converting the industrial port into new urban spaces. Some of the actions have been already finished, while others are in process, or planned. The programme of the redevelopment Storico should be completed by 2010.

Good practice and innovation:

1. Improvement of the dynamics of the masterplan by the introduction of innovative (national scale) Piano Operativo (Operation Plan), coordinating a group of precise projects and incorporating them into overall strategy;
2. Close relation to the restored area, bringing the individual approach to the fragile social structure and monumental historical substance, at the same time keeping the overall view;
3. Competitive character of diverse proposed projects, forced by the national funding rules (testing innovative solutions) - small actions understood as impulses for the inner dynamics of the area;
4. Support and creating positive conditions for the integration not only on the local scale of Centro Storico, but also including tourists (improved structures within the city centre and in the commercial port for common leisure and activities).