The Project

    A total of 18.2 km of tunnels and 18 stations have been built on line 1. However, a further 4 km of tunnels and 5 stations are also under construction. With a total cost of 3.8 billion Euro (270 million for the archaeological work alone) for line 1, and 790 million Euro for line 6 (54 million for archaeological expenses), this is the largest infrastructure project in the region of Campania. In 2017, an estimated 45 million passengers used line 1. This is the metro with three A’s (architecture, art and archaeology). It has an incredible cultural heritage, valued at 58 million Euro in artworks and architecture, with 45 million spent on urban redevelopment compared to the 1.4 billion spent to build the so-called lower section of line 1. The latter has also won numerous awards, with some stations cited as amongst the most beautiful in the world (Toledo and Municipio). Advanced techniques were used to allow excavation within the water table. This major engineering challenge resulted in the use of liquid nitrogen to freeze the ground when digging the tunnels. This, along with other innovative technologies implemented, makes it one of the most researched underground railways in the world.

      The Near Future

      The next goals are improving the city’s residents’ quality of life and restoring the city’s beauty. The intention is to remove or reduce many of the construction sites present in the city, starting with the Piazza San Pasquale area. Here, since January 2018, most of the above-ground areas were finally made accessible, with the repositioning of the statue of Cosenz, an escalator dedicated to Benedetto Croce, and flowerbeds filled with original botanical varieties. In 2019, the San Pasquale and Arco Mirelli stations of line 6 will open (for the first time, a historic villa will house two different metro stations), whilst Chiaia station will open the following year. As regards to line 1, both Centro Direzionale and Duomo will soon open (within 2019). The latter will have a temporary yet functional configuration.

        Costs and Benefits of the Metro

        This is the first time that an ex-post analysis has been performed on a public infrastructure project according to the new regulations. Since we have spent around 4 billion Euro, taken many years and the metro is used by 45 million passengers per year – a figure which is constantly growing – we asked ourselves whether building out this infrastructure was worth it. Taking into considerations economic indicators and measures of usefulness to residents, the answer is a resounding “yes!”. This encourages us to work to improve the future in accordance with the criteria of durability, utility and beauty.

          The City’s Metro and its Three Points of Access

          From the point of view of infrastructure, Naples is in an advantageous position. Furthermore, with the completion of various major projects in the coming years, its accessibility will increase even further. There is the high-speed rail link, the new Afragola station, the Naples-Bari line, Metro Line 1 – which currently connects two points of access to the city (the railway station at Piazza Garibaldi and the passenger port, with its connections to the gulf and beyond). Moreover, in the next few years, the same line will also reach Naples Capodichino airport, which is the third point of access to the city.

              The Metro and Tourism

              Travelling to Naples can become an experience which makes the most of the travel and tourism duality and is a model for the country at large. The Naples Metro has a dual purpose for the city: the first is its functionality, guaranteeing the majority of city residents access to the system within walking distance; and making the city’s main tourist sites accessible. From the Archaeological Museum people can easily reach the old city centre with Piazza Dante and Via Toledo, or go to Municipio, with the Teatro San Carlo opera house just moments away – it even has its own exit, heading to Via Duomo, the museum street. This project will continue along the promenade with Villa Comunale (the only historical park with two dedicated metro exits), right up to the western area with a route which could even go as far as Bagnoli in the future by using line 6.

              The second relates to the metro as a feature able to attract tourists in its own right. The stations have been built characterised by high architectural standards and are embellished with works of art to the point that they have won numerous awards all over the world. Their peculiarity is such that in some cases they have been chosen as sets for major film projects, like Naples in Veils and the television series version of Gomorra, to give two of the most recent and noteworthy examples. Metro Lines 1 and 6 feature 160 different artworks on display from around 102 artists, which is a “must-see gallery” featuring some great stars of contemporary art and architecture. This aesthetic aspect has proven to be an important choice for the Naples Metro system lines. Despite the minimum monetary outlay, it has had an enormous return: out of 1.33 million tourists per year who use line 1 to visit the city, approximately 176,000 visit the stations as cultural locations. We are sure that this number will increase, and that the Metro will become one of the most visited museums in Naples, with nearly as many visitors as the Capodimonte museum and many more than those visiting MADRE. This is even without having yet completed some extraordinary works, such as those of the Municipio station’s archaeological park. Finally, the Naples Metro is the only great modern attraction in a city which owes all of its tourism to monuments or museums from the Bourbon era or earlier years.

              (photos of artworks by Merz, Bob Wilson, Sol Lewitt)

                The Network

                The Naples metro already offers connections between Vomero and Scampia, the hospital area and the old centre. It joins the viceregal city with the northern outskirts, and when it is finished within a few years, it will allow virtually any point of the city to be reached in minutes from the airport, the port and the railway station. A coffee in Piazza Vanvitelli, lunch near the Duomo, and an evening spent in Chiaia will be a normal activity even for those who live and work in Chiaiano or on the coast. A ten-minute ride on the metro, passing through the compulsory museum and many of the most beautiful art stations in the world. This is already reality, and it continues to improve.