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Fra le reti e la città. Lo spazio delle nuove stazioni per l'Alta Velocità


Between networks and cities: Architectural space in the new High-Speed train stations. Over the past thirty years, megainvestment rail projects in Western Europe have become powerful transformation vectors. An extensive literature addresses the issue with an urban engineering oriented approach, concerned primarily with the large scale and focusing on governance and urban planning. This monograph section of “Trasporti & Cultura” examines the relationship of new high-speed railroad stations to their cities. The objective is to investigate the depth and meaning of the transformations being wrought by the new stations, in a comparative international scenario. Articles on Japan and China are followed by European case studies. The academic premise that looked to railway stations and tracks as a tool to regenerate blighted urban and industrial areas is clearly reasserted. Links can be established between urban transformation, new rail technology and the siting of the stations. Reframed by the new challenges of sustainable actions, energy transition, shrinking economies, the architectural design of contemporary high-speed railroad stations has undergone significant transformation, that cannot be totally ascribed to the innovations of high speed transportation. Today, following the projects of the 1960s-80s that sought to restore the continuity of the urban fabric linking the project to public space design, projects for stations are no longer interested in evoking boulevards, ramblas or parvis. A new third generation of projects unifies zones that have been divided for centuries with new linear urban parks covering kilometres of tracks, eschewing canonical figures such as streets and squares, and drastically simplifying the architecture of the railroad station, moving it underground.