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City to Be – City to Create: Interconnected Services for Resilient Urban Centers

City to Be – City to Create: Interconnected Services for Resilient Urban Centers

In a world where cities continue to grow, as more people are moving into the urban centers, the ability to respond to new demands of urban planning is fundamental. 

With this article that delves into the concept of “City to Be – City to Create”, inspired by ATI Project’s intervention during the latest Forum Scenari Immobiliari, we’ll explore the potential of integrated services in urban dynamics in order to create ever more resilient cities that can adapt to economic, environmental or social challenges that need to be addressed.

Interconnected Services: A Path to Redefining Urban Dynamics

The question is: how can cities turn from collections of separate elements to a system of interconnected services?

A resilient city aspires to enhance the quality of life for its residents by converging various essential services such as healthcare, education, transportation, utilities and more into a coordinated urban ecosystem. 

In this vision:

  • healthcare facilities can collaborate with transportation systems to ensure quick access to medical care; 
  • educational institutions can open their gymnasium, green spaces, libraries and planetarium doors to the community outside school hours;
  • state-of-the-art sports facilities serve as centres bringing together various sectors, encouraging interdisciplinary cooperation.

These are a few examples, but all the services need to be responsive and adaptable to the evolving communities’ needs to redefine urban dynamics.


The creation of resilient cities requires the utmost and continuous collaboration between all actors involved, from investors to developers and architects, from engineers to contractors and suppliers, while always having in mind future users, and listening to the needs of the community; It’s fundamental that the residents can have an active role in the redefinition of the neighborhoods that they inhabit. 

The key is in listening and in the ability to translate and integrate the various needs into concrete design and building solutions. Of course, more complex the intervention, more actors will be involved, and it is crucial to understand the optimal moments for sharing, brainstorming, listening and adapting.

The early-stage attention to the needs of the community leads to the creation of Liveable neighborhoods that open to and become part of the surrounding territory as much as possible.

”Dino Compagni” School Complex and the ”Amerigo Vespucci” Nautical Institute in Gallipoli are two examples of ATI Project works, in which accessibility and inclusivity are the priority with the creation of flexible spaces that transition seamlessly from educational environments to community forums.

Historical Preservation and Modernization

In a resilient city, the balance between new urban needs and the preservation of historical cultural areas is crucial. Therefore, the strategy is to honor the existing heritage by evolving their functionalities, ensuring protection, maintenance, and restoration of historic buildings and landmarks.

Urban centers contain artifacts that, properly transformed, can create additional value and quality. With the renovation of “Dabormida” barracks in Turin, ATI Project had the opportunity to enhance the Umbertino building fabric of the late 1800s, a representation of a research that at the time aimed at a stylistic unity among the public buildings of the reign.

On the other hand, the ECMWF Data Center Building is an example of historical heritage that can be maintained and converted to highly technological functions. The meteorological center is, in fact, inserted within a part of the area of the former Tabacchi Factory in Bologna, designed and built by the architect Pier Luigi Nervi in the 1950s and subjected to protection by the Cultural and Landscape Heritage of Emilia-Romagna for its high historical and engineering value.

Resilience and Adaptability

Since we live in a complex era in which disruptive economic, environmental and political instability are making it challenging to anticipate how we will live and work in the future, a city that is resilient and flexible must be the new design rule

This not only refers to residential or office buildings, but also to large scale complexes such as infrastructures or healthcare centers. Over the design period that in this case might last longer, the economic, political and even physical environment can transform and, to maximize project viability, it is increasingly important that projects can maintain their adaptability even during the design phases. This requires the use of the latest building technologies and is a part of the ongoing digital innovation that allows for a more efficient management of design, time and costs for possible variations.

Thanks to these technologies, for example, we were able to respond to the need of the Tallinn Hospital, which required an integration of an additional underground floor into the design project that could be transformed into care units in case of an emergency situation.

Sustainability and circularity

Today, projects can’t be disconnected from sustainability and circularity and by integrating them into the urban design, cities can enhance their resilience but also the quality of life for their residents.  In the vision of cities that are not the sum of stand-alone units but rather a grid of integrated services, in order to promote urban sustainability, it’s fundamental to consider all its subsystems. 

As cities grow, issues of economic and class inequalities but also disparity in health and educational services, arise. So, in addition to the use of green building techniques and to the careful selection of building components to minimize waste, it’s important to create urban areas that produce their own energy, reducing the amount of pollution, and that are ready to welcome all the members of their surrounding communities.

Innovation as the key for resilient design

Urban resilience provides a roadmap for cities to thrive, navigate challenges, and pave the way for a prosperous and sustainable future. 

In this perspective, ATI Project has always invested in the experimentation of new technologies. Through the work of its Research & Development department and the use of BIM Platforms, Computational design, Data Analysis, and the exploration of Artificial Intelligence through Machine learning techniques, it is able to efficiently adapt projects to unforeseen circumstances, enhance and optimize communication between various stakeholders, and stay in pace with the continuously developing innovative solutions that are becoming increasingly central to the evolution of design processes.