Yale University
Spring 2019

With Issy Yi

Laghetto is located on the physical and mental periphery of urban expansion within the countryside of Rome, Italy. The Metro C ends abruptly at the western tip of Laghetto, but the consular road Via Casilina runs through the settlement. Although Via Casilina is a major motorway, its designation as a via implies that it was supposed to be a city street. Our project refurbishes this busy road and sets up a new identity for consular roads.

Laghetto lacks a legible urban form. Currently, it has a relatively low population density with a total of approximately 3,000, primarily at working age. Because it has an abundance of vacant land, new housing development has been taking place, and we anticipate further population growth. As a precaution against development turning Laghetto into an urban dormitory, our project modulates densification in a way that allows for community growth and new additions to civic life.

Our proposal aims to make Via Casilina not just a road, but a place where civic life and commoning can take place with dignity and legibility. To make space for a green buffer, bike lanes and sidewalks, a parallel road will be built to replace the existing Via Casilina, while the existing road changes to a one-way local vehicle lane and a two-way bike lane. In this way the main road moves away from the settlement and is buffered by greenery. The green buffer between the new and the old roads is 7.5 meters at its minimum width, accommodating existing trees, and hosts areas for gardening and horticultural activities. A parallel secondary street built on existing fragments to the south of the industrial zone in the middle of the settlement completes local circulatory routes and provides alternative access to the small manufacture zone.

The remaking of Via Casilina is an opportunity to envisage the street as a coherent sequence of urban elements. This includes new street lights at an interval of 50 meters staggered on both sides of the street, benches every 25 meters, and bike racks every 150 meters. In addition, public piazzas are carved out at intersections between local streets and Via Casilina every 200 meters. The linear garden provides raised beds, trellises, and small land allotments for locals to gather, stroll, plant, and rest. As the via further develops, additional amenities such as community centers, clinics, and elderly care centers will be established. The vacant middle area will be zoned for working and living to happen in conjunction so that local small manufacturers can settle in Laghetto with the necessary amenities readily at hand in the future.