Eco-Infrastructural Labs for Urban Utopias Moscow as Slow Metropolis

Cecilia Carlorosi, Prof. Fausto Pugnaloni, Gabriele Filippini


The future project of cities and highly attractive places must respond to global environmental goals, to historical and architectural heritage, and to the needs of local environments and quality of life. Taking on that issue, this research project originates from the exchange of experiences between the Polytechnic University of the Marches (Italy), the Moscow State Forest University and the A&P Studio (Architettura&Paesaggio, Italy), who initiated the research on urban landscapes with particular reference to the sustainable regeneration in certain parts of the metropolitan area of Moscow, the saturated city at the top of the network of global cities, taken as a case study on the world level. The trial field is the net of the “infra” spaces of Moscow, which is re-established by architecture restoring links which are broken by the infrastructure. Infrastructure and its spaces, generally regarded as the developing drive behind the territory, in this study become the re-governing instrument of the city and opportunity for wise dialogue between the economic-financial, environmental and cultural spheres. That is possible through the project of multi-functional Hubs: they recover the marginal spaces of railway areas and tends to restore a state of dynamic equilibrium between multimodal mobility, parks and a functional mix of public services. From the “Social Condenser” of Soviet Constructivism, the research alights on the catalysts (the new Hubs) of the collective life, which lead to the innovative use of public transport in relieving areas saturated by private transport. «Would it be possible to use the highway as a means of education?» (The view from the road, Kevin Lynch 1964). The “Moskva 7 Kholmov” idea-project replies by introjecting previous theories and more mature situations (Archigram, Yona Friedman, OMA/Rem Koolhaas) with ecological theories (Forman and Sperling). The study suggests the overcoming of the evolutionary trauma of the metropolis in a project that reunites the senses of place and time through innovative architecture dedicated to people on the move. By skilfully balancing the infrastructural, urban, ecological and landscaping points of view, the new architecture fulfils the role of infrastructural shock absorbers, thanks to which the “Slow Metropolis” becomes a possible utopia: Moscow, urban-architectural utopia of the Twenties, becomes a positive example of the functioning of infrastructure and architecture for a mobile society.


Techno-cities; Urban landscape and functional hybridisation; Road ecology; Architectural remodelling of infrastructure; Infrastructural shock absorbers; Energy Saving

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