piazza Leonardo da Vinci renewal

Current status: completed (2012-2017)
Funding programme \ Politecnico di Milano with Comune di Milano

… Much more than a redesign project, a regeneration process that enabled a fruitful collaboration between university and public authorities.

Much more than a simple redesign project, Piazza Leonardo renewal was the occasion for promoting an innovative collaboration process between the university and the municipality of Milan for leading the re-conquering phases of a neglected public space. The reactivation process started with the temporary removal of an informal parking lot and the organization of a calendar of sport and art events on the pavements, in order to bring back people to that space. Afterwards, the consolidation of the practices led to the formal redesign project for a fully pedestrian square and an agreement of shared use between Polimi and the City, which is a model for innovative partnerships about the use of public square in Milan. Now the square is lively where to promote sustainable lifestyles for citizens and students thanks to several initiatives, like sustainable and slow mobility, bike sharing, bio-markets and numerous social and demonstration events.

  • 2012 \ Starting point \ The square is used as a parking lot , with no control of cars entering and going. The pavements are in bad conditions and students walk through this metal labyrinth.

  • 2012-2015 \ A co- design process that involved the exploration of innovative technologies like virtual reality, immersive simulation applied at the Laboratorio di Simulazione Urbana, in order to inform the redesign process and propose alternative design schemes.

Today-Tomorrow \ comparative demonstration of the possible different usages of the square
Virtual Tour \ spherical panoramas of piazza Leonardo da Vinci before transformation. The images allows to compare the same point of view in different moment of the year\s

  • 2013 – 2015 \ Re-appropriation phase – Started as a temporary closing of the parking lot, the reconquering of the square by people was a successful reactivation process of urban practices on the square pavement, with a calendar of events by the local Municipality Milano 3, City of Milan and Polimi.

2013 \ Riconquistami \ A series of events organized to anticipate the people-oriented usage of the square (Events Timeline )
2013 \ Mi Muovo (MiMuovo calendar of events)

  • 2016 \ Consolidation phase and the redesign of the square

  • 2016 \ The “Convenzione Piazza Leonardo” an innovative agreement and collaboration between the city, the local municipality of Milano 3 and the university, for promoting the use of the square with social activities.
  • 2017, since \ New square activities. Now the square is a place where to promote sustainable lifestyles: bike sharing, local bio-market, social events.

The square is also the place for hosting spontaneous activities, like the White Dinner.

… and a calendar of special events organized by Politecnico di Milano with PolimiFest 2017.

2017 \ Polimifest A calendar of events organized by Polimi during the Spring and Summer of 2017.

News about the square

Comune di Milano – Inauguration of the square on the news



The renewal of Piazza Leonardo was part of the Città Studi Campus Sostenibile university project.

P.I. Alessandro Balducci, with Manuela Grecchi

Team: Grazia Concilio, Fabrizio Delfini, Antonio Longo, Eugenio Morello,  Anna Moro, Barbara Piga, Luca Studer

Support and Operations structure: Servizio Sostenibilità di Ateneo, Eleonora Perotto (responsible officer), Paola Baglione

Research Structure: Laboratorio di Simulazione Urbana Fausto Curti with Eugenio Morello, Barbara Piga, Valerio Signorelli

Smart Campus project and RiconquistaMi: Grazia Concilio, Fabrizio Delfini, Antonio Longo, Anna Moro, Francesca Rizzo, Irina Suteu

Final Design Project: Sara Protasoni