Located on the agricultural plain south of Bergamo, Cologno al Serio exemplifies the settlement dynamics of recent years in the areas of the Po Valley close to the large towns. Outside the historical centre, still perfectly recognizable and legible in the town’s fabric with its form of a well-preserved stronghold, the settlement system has expanded through the construction of a closely packed town, a dense agglomeration of low-density buildings with little greenery due to the widespread practice of seeking the maximum financial benefit and avoiding the creation of services and green areas. The compact fabric has spread out in all directions around the historical centre as far as the main artery of communication in the north (the Francesca highway) to the point of forming a vertical strip along state highway 591 with the creation of a compact industrial district in accordance with the typical provisions made in the 1970s and ’80s (through the Plan for Production Districts). Recent times have seen the strengthening of infrastructures envisaged in general for the areas connected with Corridor 5 and the associated provisions made by the provincial and regional authorities. The construction of the new motorway between Milan and Brescia south of the municipal territory and the provision for one of the link roads envisaged in the territorial coordination plan (PTCP) of the province of Bergamo as a corridor for automobiles and trams transformed the position of the municipal territory, which thus became central to one of the many territorial crossings envisaged by the new system.
The plan operates in this context, seeking to obtain the maximum quality for the urban system, so compactly built as to prove slightly suffocated, and investing in some areas of transformation to construct new centralities and a stock of public areas and services, enclosing the provisions for growth within the boundaries of a new road system. Above all, however, it invests in the route of the new road built to connect the province. An area of transformation, which also solves the question of a disused and environmentally problematic agricultural area, is envisaged in connection with the new road and creates a link between the settlement territory and the infrastructural system. The plan establishes a new relationship with the open territory and invests in the resource of the river Serio, not least with the creation of supra-municipal park to preserve and protect the environmental heritage. In the same way, all of the south-eastern and western part of the territory is designated as an area for environmental protection and promotion of the agricultural activities that characterize the town’s economic system.
The plan has been largely put into effect apart from the agricultural transformation area. Connected as this was to the construction of the new infrastructure, the strategic environmental assessment monitoring process deemed its a priori implementation incorrect within an ongoing process putting the plan’s provisions into effect so as to observe the dynamics triggered and establish the strategic programme of operations piece by piece.