Located in an area of great environmental beauty midway between the provinces of Siena and Florence, Gambassi Terme displays a particular infrastructural situation. With the Volterrana road running right through its historical centre, it developed historically in continuous strips along either side in a similar way to many other Tuscan towns. The particular geomorphology of the territory involves a slope down to the town’s main square, which is also a tourist attraction due to the presence of a spa. After a tragic accident, this situation was regarded as incompatible with the level of road traffic and an external variant was constructed for supra-local circulation. The town thus had an opportunity to rethink its system of streets and open and public spaces as a whole through a general traffic plan, a particular instrument framed by law and equipped with a series of tools for implementation of its provisions. In the plans drawn up over the years, the infrastructural component, upon which the provisions traditionally focus, are always considered on a par with the urban-planning component, giving the need to address the efficiency and rationalization of circulation and parking on the one hand while redeveloping as many spaces as possible for public use and ensuring their quality on the other. For this reason, the plans drawn up always focus on design of the layout as a tool capable of combining the engineering and urban-planning components alike with the due attention to implementation.
The plan drawn up for Gambassi focuses in particular on imparting hierarchical structure and form to the functioning of a territory with a marked infrastructural presence in which connections between the network and the settlement system prove weak and fragmentary. Through careful work on the system of access, parking and circulation, it seeks to restore correct perceptions and the most appropriate behaviour patterns so as to foster its integration into the town’s urban system. Give the complex situation to be addressed, the plan is thus given a character and a role identical to those of a strategic plan. It identifies operations to manage not only specific aspects of traffic and mobility but also aspects regarding the urban fabric, identifying the key points of the system and possible areas of cooperation between the public and private sectors to put its provisions into effect. The general urban traffic plan thus hinges on two specific instruments. The first is the urban plan of mobility and movements, which establishes structural points for the organization of local mobility, pinpointing sensitive areas that require precise projects capable of modifying the existing space and its layout. The second is the urban redevelopment plan for open space and space for relations, which makes it possible to identify the overall scenario of reference including the physical reorganization of public spaces and mobility systems, thus acting upon the habits and behaviour patterns of the local inhabitants and the users of the functions the town provides.