Presentation of the second phase of the Colonia Nova improvement plan

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Moon Adamant
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Presentation of the second phase of the Colonia Nova improvement plan

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After the initial analysis, the Colonia Nova Improvement plan organized itself in two distinct phases,. This text will present the second phase -- please check the previous presentation of the first phase of the plan

The first phase implied the rebuild of new houses for the parcels that were not selling well according to the analysis. This action implied only the approval by the Chancellor and it is ongoing still. This action was successful, as the parcels that have been replaced have been consistently occupied since their replacement. The parcels in question are E.01, E.02, E.04, C.01, C.07 and C.18. Work has started too on the West end of the Stella Marina quay, FV.08 and FV.18 having been installed this last week. Parcels FV.06, E.03, C.19 and C.20 are still undergoing work as well.
This first phase also caused interventions to happen on other parcels in CN, the moving of the PIO Office to parcel C.02, and an intervention on the Public Land, ruining the city wall on the NW corner of the city.

We are now presenting the second moment of the CN improvement plan, which needs the discussion and approval of a new map.
The interventions that are now being proposed are more complex, as they concern built sets, not individual houses. The two areas for intervention are:

  • The SE corner of the CN town, specifically the parcels PIO Office and C.13
  • Parcel L.01 (Garden of Peace)

SE corner of the CN town – PIO and parcel C.13
We need to bring in a different set of data, concerning land sales in CN.

CN sales Terms 38 39 40.png

This is data from an analysis which has been running on all the parcels sold on the CDS since the start of term 38. Specifically, here it’s shown the average and median parcels sold for Colonia Nova on the last three terms. As discussed elsewhere, median describes better the size of the parcels being sold than average. We can see that the median parcel sold in CN is:

  • In term 38: 352m2
  • In term 39: 416m2
  • In term 40 (so far): 384m2

The PIO parcel and parcel C.13 are roughly double the size of this median parcel sold:

  • PIO Office parcel (C.12): 816m2
  • Parcel C.13: 864 m2
    We defend that, in the denser areas, parcels will have a better sales performance if they match more narrowly the median parcel sold parameters, therefore our proposal runs in the sense of breaking parcels C.12 and C.13 into 4 parcels, with a corresponding redesign of the public space in the SE corner. These parcels will have areas between 320 and 400m2 each. The new builds will be anchored to the public space.

We are proposing that the current plaza in front of the former PIO Office be made somewhat smaller and move slightly eastwards, and that on its south side it will open to a public staircase that will connect to the level of the Temple alley below. This staircase can be made to wind somewhat, and that will mimic more closely public steps in hilly cities on the Mediterranean area. To ensure that the staircase can do so, it will pass over the limits of the two lower parcels. We don’t believe this is a problem as both builds and public space prims will all be anchored to the public space, and ban lines are not allowed.

The 4 new parcels will distribute themselves hugging the new staircase at different levels. This allows for diverse parcel footprints that can more easily allow for buildings that are distinct from each other. The parcels will also more easily have views, and we propose that they include outdoors space, such as gardens and terraces. CN lacks vegetation inside walls and this will work towards softening the feel of the space (and will also resemble historic quarters in the Mediterranean). Outdoors will also enhance the quality of the use of the future builds.
From the PoV of people standing on the Decumanum road, and of the parcels directly to the North of it, the new layout going down the slope won’t cause so much of a barrier to the mountain view, and that will enhance the experience of the place.
A mock-up has been prepared of the new urban layout. It contains 4 mock-ups of houses that can/should be adapted, their main purpose being to check that a sense of enclosure that exists near the city wall would be dissipated, and to make sure that enough windows would be possible. In fact, as there is also the discussion to ruin the East wall that is just adjacent, the mock-ups that are leaning on the wall can and should take advantage of being able to peep over the ruin.

Please visit the CN SE corner mock-up here.

20240327_City SE_public steps_lower level.png

Parcel L.01 (Garden of Peace)

The L parcels are the riverbank parcels and they are the largest parcels on CN -- L.01 is the largest, at 2,640m2.
It is a highly sloped parcel, connecting the level of Via Luna to the water level. Its garden provides a beautiful view from the Praetorium Propylaeum, and some breathing room for the Rhenus Docks space adjacent to the large Praetorium built mass. These are positive characteristics, which should continue in a new deployment.
Here we propose again that L.01 will be divided into two private parcels and a public space garden, for which we present two options.
As for the private parcels, they will have an identical area of 784m2 each. The L zone is defined by larger parcels and less density, and our 3-year analysis shows that the proximity of the river allows for the continued occupation of larger, more expensive parcels.
We propose that these two parcels occupy the full front to Via Luna, keeping that same level. A 4m-wide buffer to the CN Bridge will be left and will allow for new public steps linking to the water level and to the riverbank path.
To assure that the parcels keep a green cover at their high level, necessary for the preservation of the vista from the Praetorium, we propose that their buildings will be developed – instead of leaving the parcels empty to be filled by their future owners -- and anchored to the public land.
Those two private parcels keeping to the high level of Via Luna, then a 8m-drop will be originated to the public garden parcel on the riverbank. Here we propose two possible solutions, for discussion.

Both solutions imply that the new Garden of Peace relates more to the river than the previous one. We propose a garden on the bank with a riverside walk/quay.
The drop to the private parcels’ level can be resolved in two ways:

20240327_Garden of Peace_solution A.png

Solution A is a high wall with niches that can contain statues, murals, or creepers, one of the niches being a fountain with a spring to the river. This is a common solution for this kind of sustaining wall, and it can provide for a lovely space where art features can be displayed. The formality of the solution can be embraced -- or can be discarded by opting for a less ordered landscaping of the garden.

20240327_Garden of Peace_solution B.png

As for solution B, instead of the high wall, the two private parcels would repose on an arcade which is filled with water, making a reservoir or cistern. The spring would still be present but would move to the back wall of the cistern. Inspiration here is the 18th c. Mae d’Agua Reservoir in Lisbon, and the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul (mind the difference in scale to this reference!). This would give a much more aquatic characteristic to the Garden of Peace.
We have prepared a mock-up as well for parcel L.01, currently featuring solution B as it’s harder to visualize, which you can visit here.

The Artisan Guild visited the mock-ups for both zones of intervention on March 9, 2024. The proposals were favourably considered, though discussion should continue about the better solution for the L.01 parcel as there was some division about the more worthwhile solution, A or B.

Eudaimonia now!
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