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Urban Regeneration of the Marble Railway in Carrara (Italy)


The project target is the regeneration of the marble railway: the Ferrovia Marmifera, through the creation of an alternative public road in order to connect Carrara’s landmarks and establish a local art and culture museum system.

Carrara’s Marble Railway was one the first in Europe to adopt innovative engineering solutions in order to make the marble quarries easily reachable. The whole line ran for 22 km (14 miles) on bridges, viaducts and through tunnels to provide a direct link to the sea cost. Unfortunately this railway was the victim of the automobile progress of the 20th century and consequently converted into a street. Today its itinerary is still readable in the city plan but the route results in a mosaic of streets, abandoned sections and parts which have been integrated in the urban area. The geographic area, the urban survey and the current legislation substantiate the possible conservation of this heritage. A concrete viability is offered by the urban planning complaining with the local urban law Piano Strutturale 2005 plus Variante Generale 2009, under the Legge Regionale 65/2004 Governo del Territorio. Another reason to reuse the old railway is the inadequate longitudinal connection along the town urban development.

The project itinerary replaces, wherever possible, the railway from Carrara-San Martino, the disuse town centre station, to the present station Carrara-Avenza. In addition, the strategy takes into consideration the River Carrione, another important longitudinal urban line, to make a new road segment to reach the port. The urban project plans several actions for the regeneration of the whole territory of Carrara’s municipality, focusing on the catchment area as well. This project is composed of a tram and pedestrian-cycling track. Subsequently the project describes more detail the tramway stops with ups and downs in places which are, according to the urban planning, significant today and tomorrow as well. The project is most likely to be embraced by the community of Carrara, who has always had a meaningful relationship with the marble railway. This was particularly true during the WW2 when it was used as a way of transport by the partisan. This regeneration project is really practicable because it is non-invasive for the urban design. It could be submitted to a call for tender for reuse of the Italian State Railway’s proprieties, as issued for the Tuscany (region). To conclude the itinerary project aims at inspiring future actions to be taken for Carrara’s urban redevelopment and renewal in order to further its development as a tourist site, historically tied to the culture of marble.

The Board:
Urban Regeneration of the Marble Railway in Carrara (Italy) Board
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