Messina Waterfront Masterplan

The Messina waterfront masterplan redraws the Santa Cecilia area covering a total land area of 1.361.370 square meters, planning up to 632.000 build square meters. It’s one of the largest urban redevelopment waterfront plans considering EU.
The special value of the masterplan doesn’t stay only in its size but comes also from the exceptional quality of the natural and historic environment. The legendary “Messina narrows” (“Stretto di Messina”) it’s the landscape and mythological heart of an area of fundamental significance in the history of Mediterranean civilizations.
The master planned areas come from very different origin, both regarding the property (private, state-owned, railway) and the destination (free building areas, listed buildings, service areas or railway functions).
Therefore, the plan proposes a feasible design in a sequel of phases, identifying a first stage, which can proceed relatively quickly on areas immediately available (subject to the approval of a first executive planning instrument) and a second stage, which can operate in a much longer time, taking in also areas with deeper constraints such as railway (nowadays dedicated to ferries landing service) and subsequent batches for long-term investments, according to the local market’s ability to absorb new volumes each year.
The scenario proposed by the masterplan relies on the possibility to implement the environmental quality of the area through enhancement of the natural and historical landscape in whom the new intervention is immersed. The project execution aims to trigger a virtuous process of improvement of the ecological and aesthetic quality of the interested land.

The destinations and the fruition models of the open spaces provide a high degree of mutual interaction and a high degree of permeability, both among the functions settled in the area and the surrounding urban areas.

The planned green spaces should permit and encourage wide degrees of usability for different uses through generations, and at the same time to investigate the role of naturalistic values in urban areas.


Project: arch. Benedetto Camerana (masterplanning and project coordination); F&M Ingegneria (group coordination); Urban Future Organization (UFO) (service center); Idrotec (marina); arch. Erika Skabar (landscaping); ing. Marcello D’Alia (mobility); geol. Alfredo Natoli (geology); arch. Gianluca Ardiri
Type: Waterfront masterplanning of Messina city
Client: Municipio di Messina
Procedure: Architectural Competition, 1st prize
Chronology: Competition 2012; Masterplan project 2015-2016
Location: Messina, Italy