Functional masterplan of Zingonia, showing the infrastructure connecting it to a.o. Bergamo and Milan. In purple the industrial terrains, surrounded by residental areas, which incorporate the existing villages. source: https://zingoniamonamour.tumblr.com/tagged/zingonia
Zingonia was the brainchild of the wealthy Roman entrepreneur and banker Renzo Zingone. His ambition was to realize a self sufficient industrial and residential New Town. Not a sleepy suburban town nor an industrial terrain but a real city with hotels, theaters, a shopping centre, kindergartens, swimming pool, cinema etc. etc.
He undertook the project with architect Franco Negri who designed the masterplan and various buildings and started in 1965.
Three different types of industrial buildings -called Bergamo, Roma and Vittoria- were provided; these were prefab structures produced by Zingone structures, a family company.
In the beginning of 1970s construction halted due to various reasons amongst them the economic crisis of 1973 and administrative problems with the vife (!) municipalities involved in the project. It never became the city it should have been, an ideal, utopian city which combined living and working to solve the commuting problem. In stead of 50.000 inhabtants it never reached more than a few thousand.
Many projects and art installations have been dedicated to the topic of Zingonia. It is seen as a perfect mirror reflecting the changed conditions and ambitions in Italy from the 1960s to now. 80% of the apartments in Zingonia are now lived in by immigrants from all over the world.
Zingonia is also interesting as a forerunner of the many privately developed 'economic cities' that are built worldwide in the 21th Century.