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Onward to TEK, the new digital innovation district in Bologna

March 11th 2024

Onward to TEK, the new digital innovation district in Bologna

Bologna continues to invest in its territory: the new TEK (Technology, Entertainment, Knowledge) District has been announced, that is an area of about 277 hectares set to become a major European hub on Big Data and AI through a sustainable urban regeneration intervention.

The location where the TEK District will stand lies along the axis of Via Stalingrado, between Porta Mascarella and Dozza and halfway between Bolognina and San Donato. Some of the country's major economic players already operate here, such as Fiera, Hera and Unipol, as well as important territorial players such as Legacoop, Confcooperative, Cna, and Unioncamere.

Rendering Villaggio dell'Innovazione Digitale, © Arup

This same area is also home to Regione Emilia-Romagna headquarters and the Tecnopolo, hosting inside the ECMWF (European Weather Center) and the Leonardo supercomputer, the fourth most powerful in the world, which are to be joined by the INFN, Cineca, ENEA, the IOR, the National Research Center in HPC, Big Data and Quantum Computing, the United Nations University dedicated to big data and artificial intelligence, and the Officine della Conoscenza.

The same complex is also home to some of the city's most important brownfield sites, such as the former Caserma Sani and Officine Casaralta, and many other disused or underutilized manufacturing areas. With more than 210 hectares of potential areas to be redeveloped, TEK District represents the most important urban regeneration project in Bologna since the postwar.

Rendering BolognaFiere, ©Mario Cucinella

Alongside the Tecnopolo, the driving force behind this regeneration will be BolognaFiere, which plans to expand the trade fair district and create a new entertainment and culture hub that will house a new multi-purpose pavilion, a sports arena, commercial, cultural and recreational spaces, and a new Digital Innovation Village in the northernmost areas, across from the Tecnopolo, which will accommodate new business, research center and residential developments.

Rendering Parco Nord, ©Arup

Another key part of the master plan is the redevelopment of Parco Nord, which will bring back to the city more than 50 hectares of urban parkland and a renovated 25,000-seat Joe Strummer Arena. Nearby, Hera's first Energy Park will rise - an ambitious and innovative industrial project that holds together investments in renewable energy, biodiversity protection and Mission Climate 2030.

Finally, the redevelopment plan for the area also includes the gradual transformation of Via Stalingrado - the backbone of the TEK District - into a European green boulevard, with the goal of reducing emissions from mobility by 40 percent, soil temperature by 10 degrees in the summer and creating more than 6,000 square meters of new green and permeable spaces.

Rendering Green Boulevard (Via Stalingrado), © Arup


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