In a bid to rethink public spaces, Milan-based architecture studio Vudafieri-Saverino Partners has collaborated with PRR Architetti and Lorenzo Noe to develop Valet, a city development strategy to turn parking spots into public green spaces, also known as parklets . Created last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing, the design concept aims to safely bring people back to downtown Milan and help stimulate the local economy. The designers plan to install the parklets with an eco-friendly, prefabricated system of modular plates built of recycled materials and photocatalytic elements. Designed for adaptability and minimal site work, the Valet parklets will use a modular urban paving system for flexibility, quick installation and reduced construction times and costs. Each prefabricated plate will serve as a “motherboard” that can be equipped with different elements — such as landscaping, awnings, furnishings and lighting fixtures — in various configurations. The plates are to be made from Italian multinational construction company Italcementi’s engineered lightweight concrete, which was selected for its drainage benefits, recycled materials content and a clear coloration that helps combat the urban heat island effect . “By converting the new social distancing rules into opportunities, the project […]

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