Urban requalification and economic sustainability: the case of the Genoa levante waterfront

[Riqualificazione urbana e sostenibilità economica: il caso del waterfront di levante di Genova]

Department of Architecture and Design – Polytechnic School- University of Genoa.   e-mail:

Department of Architecture and Design – Polytechnic School- University of Genoa.  e-mail:

Valori e Valutazioni 2020, 27, 39-51 ;


After the season of major projects and major urban maintenance, completed with the event of Genoa, European Capital of Culture of the now distant 2004, the urban redevelopment project of the Genoese urban waterfront in the Levante sector (ie the area that physically connects the Expo area with the Fiera del Mare complex) is the largest project involving the Genoese urban structure of the last few years. The complex vicissitudes linked to a highly complex design process (on the area in question overlook very different functions ranging from the naval industry to the yachting port, up to the fair pavilions), create a scenario in which differentiated interests arise and where the balance between costs and benefits is important to the success of the operation. The Municipality of Genoa has started the process for the redevelopment of the area through a design competition for the selection of the best proposal to be made to an interested party to be selected in a subsequent public selection. The urban impacts on the infrastructural system, on the allocation of new public spaces, on the location of new “valuable” functions, as well as the overall urban redevelopment effect will affect a large area in which the patrimonial benefits deriving from the post project operation will undoubtedly be relevant. The amount of public finances in the operation and the complexity of the design choices that must be made require careful assessment not only of the quality of the proposal but also of its economic and financial sustainability. Considering the high costs of demolition of existing buildings and structures, it must guarantee adequate margins of profitability for the investor, otherwise the operation will be unsuccessful. The economic evaluation therefore assumes a strategic role in identifying the best design solution. This contribution deals with the case study of the urban redevelopment project of the area of the former Genoa Fair started by the Municipality of Genoa in 2016 through a design competition called “BluePrint”. In addition to the analysis of the urban aspects, a verification of the economic feasibility of the intervention has been developed, starting from the checks presented by the participants in the competition. The objective is to determine – for some significant variables (cost of the areas) – what are the conditions of sustainability for the operator who will carry out the intervention.



Urban requalification, economic evaluation, Cost-Revenue Analysis.