MIND

The Challenges

The birth of MIND Milano Innovation District gives the city, and the whole country, the unparalleled opportunity to create a new urban environment designed to tackle the challenges of our time through innovation: a “city of the future” to be experienced first-hand, with the greatest positive impact on today’s territory and society.

The Challenges

Today for tomorrow

Establish a favourable relationship with nature. Foster individual growth in interacting. Enable a higher quality of life. The commitment to sustainability, the well-being of each person, and the care and dynamism of the community are the main horizons – our “MIND Centennial Challenges” – toward which the project has developed from the original vision, and then through the overall masterplan and design of the spaces.
The entire district is based on the concept of Common Ground, the idea of creating a single large ecosystem open to interpersonal exchange, and the desire to provide ideal living conditions for present and future generations.
From building solutions to mobility, the whole project imagines a profound union between architecture, sustainability and technology, with choices inspired by the One Health model and its principles of harmony between humankind and the environment.

MIND looks towards progress and is taking action to build it. The vision of a place of science and participation,
a physical and digital space for dialogue and inclusion, finds strength in the many programmes and initiatives organised by the promoters, Arexpo and Lendlease, and by the many active “Minders” – be it the acceleration activities for companies enabled by Federated Innovation or the training sessions for young Milanese.

A city for the environment

MIND as a zero-carbon district. Renewing construction techniques, optimising resources, making room for nature and its vitality – a model experience that raises the international standards of regeneration.

Looking around, the landscape is astounding. Green is everywhere: between the buildings, on their facades. Bicycles and electric vehicles move along the tree-lined Decumano, water canals give shelter to colonies and pods of small animals… There is a general perspective on sustainability that looks at the global objectives of tackling the climate crisis. And then there is the local perspective that looks at the well-being that a certain space can generate. MIND was created to satisfy both.

A city for the environment

The creation of MIND embraces the ambition of an urban development that is functional to the decarbonisation agenda, according to Lendlease’s international commitment to reduce the rise in temperatures to 1.5 °C.

The measures involve all aspects of the district considering its entire life cycle, from construction materials to energy efficiency, from mobility to resource management through digital intelligence.

The horizon is a carbon-free setting, unencumbered by fossil resources in its everyday life, and in line with LEED Cities and Communities Gold certification standards.

Among MIND’s priorities is resilience, the ability of the site to adapt to climate conditions over time. Once again, the answer lies in nature, with 300,000 m2 of green spaces and water surfaces spread throughout the site: a living system, able to counteract the heat island effect (the overheating of urbanised areas) and reduce the possibility of flooding.

Sustainability measures taken by Lendlease for MIND

Sustainability measures taken by Lendlease for MIND

Energy: renewables and efficiency

Energy: renewables and efficiency

MIND’s commitment is to create a district powered entirely by certified renewable sources, starting with solar energy produced on-site. New or regenerated, all buildings within MIND aim to exceed local energy efficiency requirements for construction by 20 percent, while a new generation of high-efficiency solutions will limit consumption for heating and cooling. The goal is a zero-carbon district.

Constructions: materials, recovery, techniques

Constructions: materials, recovery, techniques

Special attention is directed to construction. On the one hand, the choice of low-carbon materials and especially sustainable wood – also thanks to the partnership with Stora Enso, a leader in the industry, for the development of ad-hoc solutions. On the other, the desire to optimise resources according to a circular economy model: the estimate is to reuse 98 percent of the construction scraps. Methods have been renewed, too, with advanced design and construction techniques (Design for Manufacturing and Assembly, Digital Twin) to optimise components and processes.

Getting around: electric and active mobility

Getting around: electric and active mobility

A place on a human scale to experience the outdoor, MIND is imagined as a space of proximity and coexistence between means of transport, in which to move with ease and delight. The district is designed for an all-electric transport system as well as to encourage walking and cycling as much as possible thanks to the cycling infrastructure and the planning of the areas. The ambition is to halve car travel within the district.

Landscape: green and blue

Landscape: green and blue

The abundant presence of nature, and its strong integration into the urban fabric, is one of MIND’s most distinctive elements. Together with two large parks and the central green corridor, the Decumano Linear Park, the district hosts a system of canals and ponds that surrounds and connects the entire site, which is crucial to the area’s ability to adapt to climatic events. Gardens, flowerbeds, hanging gardens are everywhere for a naturally evolving organic landscape.

A city for well-being

MIND as a human-centric place. The presence of outstanding organisations in Life Science encourages medical progress. However, health is at the heart of the project’s entire mission: to create a great, pleasant environment that is beneficial to the people who live it.

What does a healthy community consist of? It consists of people who look after themselves and others. It has access to beneficial services: healthy food, agile mobility, sports facilities, medical care. It relies on a network of active social relationships – the engine of opportunity. It works and lives in human-scale environments designed to feel good. MIND demonstrates that a theoretical idea like holistic wellness can be transformed into something truly concrete.

A city for well-being

Health is at the heart of MIND. Every day, the district works on the new frontiers of Life Sciences, conducts experiments, cooperates with institutes and companies, and develops new projects in the fields of biology, chemistry, genetics, and information technology. All these initiatives have been carried out since the very first days of the district, thanks to the birth of the Human Technopole, the Italian research hub dedicated to these specialty areas.

Here science does not remain locked in labs; instead, it connects with what is precisely its object: life. As the IRCCS Galeazzi Hospital starts operating as a centre for the healthcare of the future, the district will open up to the territory as a place of care, prevention, and new medicine.

The presence of healthcare companies and startups within the ecosystem promises innovations destined to improve the health of everyone.

The culture of well-being is deeply interwoven with MIND and embraces the entire district in its physical dimension. The design of the masterplan takes the holistic view of the One Health approach, based on the balance between human, animal and environmental health, and translates it into welcoming spaces that are elderly- and family-friendly. Here people can easily walk around, find quality food and be in contact with nature.

A city for social impact

MIND as an active community. Because of the ecosystem’s vocation, thanks to the many programmes open to participation, the district presents itself as a shared platform. A space of inclusion that creates social value through involvement.

In labs and incubators, during exchange programmes or training activities. In the squares, outside venues, along the Decumano, or between the park paths. In Common Ground, any space is open to collaboration and involvement. A centre for economic development and collective growth, a bridge between the local area and global markets, MIND aims to create innovation starting from the community and for the benefit of the community.

A city for social impact

As an innovation hub and urban district, MIND was created to generate progress through the collective dimension.

The ecosystem is, by definition, a space of exchange and hybridisation between disciplines, of transfer between science and industry. A novelty like Federated Innovation, a model of acceleration that also involves competing realities, only increases the level of internal collaboration. But there is much more.

Once fully operational, MIND will have to engage with 60,000 people every day – students, teachers, researchers, businesses, people working in the services and activities present, as well as residents, families, and visitors. For this community in the making and the entire city around it, the district is already offering itself as an environment of dialogue, an engine of empowerment and inclusion.

The centre of social innovation in the district is Cascina Triulza, home to Fondazione Triulza and its hub open to a plurality of voices from the Third Sector. In addition to their initiatives, there are also those organised by MIND’s main promoters, Arexpo and Lendlease, and the first group of partners and established businesses.

Promoted by Arexpo and Lendlease, the annual programme involves primary, middle and high schools in Lombardy in creating innovative and original projects dedicated to the district.

It is a best practice recognised by the UN, the multi-year project promoted by Lendlease in partnership with the Ministry of Justice, dedicated to the social inclusion of inmates from the nearby Bollate Prison, thanks to training and work placement courses.

The series of activities presented by Lendlease and PlusValue to animate the area and encourage participation. These include T-Factor, a project to create cultural events and temporary uses for the site.

The participative process is carried out to involve people from all over society in imagining together the future of MIND, and thus grow the community of the place.

The space for meeting and collaboration, social innovation and sustainability, aimed at the Third Sector and Civil Economy. Promoted by Fondazione Triulza.

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