Arezzo serves as line leader with an ample project on the area around the railway station, and Pistoia will follow suit wagering on the revival of its own real-estate assets and on projects regarding some urban spaces. These are the two Tuscan pioneers of UrbanPro, an alliance between the Order of Architects, the Chambers of Commerce, ANCE (Real Estate Constructors) and Confcommercio to carry out redevelopment projects for Italian cities by intercepting funds from Europe and establishing, through tenders, intervention modalities that are both efficient and of [high] quality. The so-called “pact for the cities” should have at its disposal – according to estimates by the Italian government – approximately 3 billion for the innovation and development of urban centers, as well as to increase their competitiveness and appeal from an economic perspective: resources that will come from the European Programming Plan for 2014-2020.

If until now the European statistics and reports have indicated that an ample availability of investments was not followed by initiatives and projects that were able to use the EU funds, the “UrbanPro” objective is to give life to a teamwork that will enable the quick identification of the most relevant transformations, which could also work as a call for private investments during future phases, and the definition of the paths to move quickly from paper to construction site. Numerous Italian cities are moving in this direction, such as Vibo Valentia, Como, and Gorizia; but Arezzo took the first concrete step.

The Tuscan provincial capital has already set the machine in motion for its project, given that the four-way alliance (Architects-Constructors-Merchants-Chambers of Commerce) has already shared with the Public Administration the idea of intervening on the square in front of the train station: the specialized Edilizia e Territorio magazine indicated a few weeks ago that the intention is to, within a year, start the tender to choose the architectural project that will be best suited to valorize the area, whereas a simultaneous second public contest will lead to the choice of the promoter for the project financing required to carry out the work. Once the architectural idea and the most reliable person have been selected, it will be time to start looking for the European financing. Arezzo’s objective, as in the overall “UrbanPro” program, is to transform and innovate some “strategic” areas that have not yet been involved with new businesses, and that can trigger installations and initiatives on behalf of private (and not private) entities. An idea that, for some months, has also been at the center of a debate in Pistoia, which is undertaking works of urban redevelopment.