Theses Master's

Centro Francesco Datini Prato

Bielski, Sebastian

Situated in the Greater Florence Metropolitan Area, Prato is Tuscany’s second largest city and has strong cultural ties to the textile industry and an industrial based economy. As the city continues to grow and diversify with new immigrant and refugee populations, the City of Prato is working with the City of Florence to extend the current tram system from Florence to Prato to create better transit linkages for growing parts of the metropolitan region.

However, as no current metropolitan governing system exists, poor coordination has caused gaps in the existing and proposed transit networks. Thus, this project will work to first understand the mechanisms of mobility at the city level by identifying new transit modes that can connect the proposed tram to the city center and central rail station - the two connections that are missing within the proposed system.

Centro Francesco Datini Prato will be a large scale redevelopment project of the Ex Banci in Prato. It will have four unique zones, but unified by several key design moves. One, there will be a cycle superhighway built through the site going north to south. This will help people move into the site and connect pedestrians to the city center and Prato Centrale.

This capstone’s primary purpose is to provide project visioning in the form of design solutions. Secondarily, the capstone wil provide design and policy recommendations to inform the future regeneration of the site.

The primary mode for analysis is the ethnographical approach. The ethnography centers on understanding the human experience in the space. It identifies microcultures and creates an initial redesign based on site and visual analysis.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Vanky, Anthony P.
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
August 2, 2023