Project facts

Duration: 2020-09-01 - 2024-02-29
Project coordinator: COMUNE DI MILANO
Project consortium: Institut d'Arquitectura Avancada de Catalunya (ES), Departament d'Educació-Generalitat de Catalunya (ES), Poblenou Urban District (ES), Stichting Waag Society (NL), Stichting Pakhuis de Zwijger (NL), Stichting Hout-En Meubileringscollege (NL), Manifattura digitale in Ex Ansaldo Rete di Imprese (IT), Cariplo Factory SRL (IT), Opendot SRL (IT), Acube Societa' Benefit SRL (IT), Wemake SRL (IT), Oxa SRL Impresa sociale (IT), Fab City Grand Paris (FR), Vergers Urbains (FR), Bien Commun (FR), ARS Longa (FR), Volumes (FR), Sony Europe BV (NL), Kobenhavns Kommune (DK) Design Society Fond (DK), Onl'fait (CH), Association Maco (CH), Au fil du geste (CH), Ressources Urbaines-Coopératives Genevoise d'Artistes et d'Acteurs Culturels (CH), Textilmiostoo islands og Pekkingarsetur a Blonduosi (IS), Haskoli Island (IS), Nyskopunarmidstod Islands (IS), Tallinna Tehnikaülikool (EE), Tallinna Linn (EE), Fablab udruga Za Pomicanje Digitalne Fabrikacije (HR), Sveuciliste u Zagrbu Arhitektinski Fakultet, Stichting Metabolic Institute (NL), Stichting Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten (NL), Europaiko Diktyo Dimiurgikon Komvon (GR)
Funding bodies: H2020-EU.3.5. - SOCIETAL CHALLENGES - Climate action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials MAIN PROGRAMME H2020-EU.3.5.6. - Cultural heritage SC5-20-2019 - Transforming historic urban areas and/or cultural landscapes into hubs of entrepreneurship and social and cultural integration
Subject areas: Built Heritage, Community involvement, Economic value, Heritage Management, Urban Heritage
Budget: € 8 523 267,51


Two centuries ago, Europe ignited the Industrial Revolution and economic benefit at regional and national scale became abundant. More recently, globalisation, which was foreseen to strenghten global markers, has led to substantial losses for the manufacturing capacity of European cities. Europe's forced transition to a knowledge economy has resulted in a decrease in manufacturing jobs, a lack of appreciation for these jobs and the neglect of the industrial areas. Subject to decay or exploitation by extractive economic activities, historic areas are disconnected to local knowwledge or value generation.

Cities are currently facing huge challenges that demand new solutions. The current model of massive consumption and extraction in cities contribute to the acceleration of the climate crisis. Automation and Industry 4.0 present great potential but also challenges, such as the loss of jobs or the social exclusion of vulnerable populations. Coronavirus pandemic has drastically exposed the fragility of the current and our own vulnerability in cities. We are at a moment in history in which we need to make a change.

CENTRINNO proposes alternative urban regeneration processes which will be welcomed as opportunities in this context, leaving no one behind as we transition toward a sustainable future. CENTRINNO aims to develop and demonstrate strategies, approaches and solutions for the regeneration of industrial historic sites as creative, locally productive, and inclusive hubs to:

  • Shape new socia-economic and sustainable identities of industrial historic sites;
  • Foster social inclusion through craftssmanship culture and heritage;
  • Rethink the way cities govern their material resources.

The project is based on project-based learning, focusing on the role of heritage and vocational training, including digital fabrication tools and soft skills connected to local challenges and needs, and, at the same time, producing social and environmental impact by adopting the principles of circular economy in new urban transformation processes. Ultimately, CENTRINNO tests and assesses innovatives strategies, approaches and solutions for laternative urban regeneration processes in different European sites.

Impacts & Results

The new industrial paradigm developed in the project is be operationalized through the CENTRINNO framework, containing different tools and methods based on the five key concepts of the project’s approach. The project’s framework is based on the experience and work of the consortium members, especifically on three existing methods: Full Stack is a global framework developed by the Fab City Global Initiative based on the concept of solution or software stack from computing science. It explores the multi-scale nature of change-making in the city - the most complex system ever created by humans. The CENTRINNO methodology employs the Fab City Full Stack to activate synchronous actions from the bottom-up and top-down that complement and interconnect with each other. It encourages a prototyping approach that brings together software and hardware, local and global, individual and collective action across practice, place and policy. The pilot cities  implement local activities, feeding back into this framework.

Material Flow Analysis (MFA)

CENTRINNO’s approach to circularity builds on the concept of the ‘urban metabolism’, which seeks to understand the city and its surrounding region through the lens of biological systems, and technical processes. At the core of urban metabolism concept is the Material Flow Analysis (MFA) method: an analytical method to quantify flows and stocks of materials, water, energy, and products in a pre-defined system in order to study biophysical aspects of human activity on different spatial and temporal scales. CENTRINNO develops its own approach and method combining MFA with other methods, such as input-output analysis. The focus of the Urban Metabolism analysis for CENTRINNO is two-fold: Firstly, the mapping of waste streams, their location of generation and their destination shall identify available resources for local production. Secondly, an analysis of urban demands for products and goods adds insights into the opportunities for re localising product value chains.

Emotion Networking (EN)

In the CENTRINNO project Emotion Networking is positioned to be utilised as an innovative and qualitative data collection method. Developed by Imagine IC and the Reinwardt Academy, EN is a way to map and understand how an item, object or location is subjected to a network of emotions at the local level. The result is the visualisation of a network of frictional or consensual relations of understanding about something. The practice also facilitates the “digging up” of traces of the past and personal and/or communal stories, which together can be seen to (temporarily) shape, or initiate a collection that constitutes heritage. Each pilot is able to develop its own approach to EN, adapting the method to its own needs and its specific items of heritage, activities and stakeholders involved.

CENTRINNO generates a series of operative resources to facilitate transformation processes across historic areas. Online platforms, how-to guides and practical toolkits will be available as open source data for other cities that are also willing or in the process to reconvert, revamp and revolutionize industrial sites in benefit of their citizens.