The landscape surrounding a logistic park may offer several opportunities for a better quality of life for people working there, through a mitigation of the environmental impact on the territory and a better integration with the surrounding context. Logistic parks, where functionality prevails over beauty and comfort, should provide also good conditions for people to move comfortably and safely, being able to walk, stand, sit, watch, listen and talk, possibly in a green environment in direct contact with Nature. In fact, the benefits brought by green spaces are well known in literature, from a landscape, environmental, economic and social point of view.
The strategies for the Prologis ParkLife project were developed from these guidelines, with the aim of offering new services, creating livable open spaces, inserting landscape and environmental design elements, as well as architectural elements. These principles were applied to two different case studies, in Piacenza and Lodi, with a different level of detail.
The Piacenza intervention concerned on the one hand the master plan for the expansion of the existing logistics park, on the other the improvement of existing buildings. The new development differs from the existing mainly because of the availability of outdoor spaces, which is far greater here. This leads to a larger range of possibilities to improve the area in terms of landscaping and environment. Besides the already mentioned solutions, the master plan includes relax areas surrounded by greenery next to the buildings, tree-lined car parks and pedestrian paths.
The use of permeable and high albedo materials allows to improve the management of rainwater and reduce the temperature at ground level, consequently improving thermal comfort. Acoustic barriers covered with plants will instead serve to mitigate the noise pollution resulting from the circulation of heavy vehicles. Lamination basins will allow the water coming from the roofs to be temporarily stored, while the excavation materials will be used to build modest earth movements, capable of improving the perception of spaces and reducing the negative effects of the sense of disorientation due to the repetitiveness and vastness that characterize these places. Small wooded areas will finally be created along the borders of the intervention area, in order to mitigate the environmental impact and re-establish ecological connections with the territory.
The overall improvement of the landscape of the existing facilities is achieved through 4 different types of actions, both on the outdoor and indoor spaces, each one dedicated to solve a specific issue emerged during the analysis: better management of rainwater, through the creation of a bioswale in the parking lots; introduction of landscape design elements which include climbing plants on the facades, in order to reduce energy consumption and improve the aesthetic appearance, and the creation of flowerbeds with trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials and ground covers; transformation of the disused railtrack at the back of the building into an area dedicated to relaxation and meeting between people; integration of landscape elements within the building, through the installation of special planters for hydroponic cultivation.
The Lodi project consists instead of the inclusion of services for internal and external users of the logistics platform. These consist of relaxation areas and services for employees and parking truck drivers in transit, created by following the already mentioned guidelines, surrounded by landscaping and pedestrian paths.