The public spaces of the Lurgano waterfront in Switzerland will undergo a transformation that includes a floating garden island under a proposed plan by design firm Carlo Ratti Associati.
Working in partnership with Mobility in Chain (MIC), the international firm of Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA), has released its proposed vision for a new system of public spaces along the waterfront of Lugano, Switzerland. A floating garden island connected by a water navigation system and reconfigurable roads capable of responding to people in real time, is one of the highlights of the newly envisioned precinct.
“Lugano’s distinctive waterfront, nestled between the Swiss Alps and the glacial lake, is an opportunity to create a responsive edge for the city, experimenting with novel ways of blending nature and urban space,” says Carlo Ratti, CRA founding partner and director of Senseable City Lab, MIT.
With the intention of increasing the number of connections between the city and the water, by redirecting the main traffic thoroughfare that passes through the sector, the plan will reconnect the two points by creating pedestrian-friendly areas on the congested waterfront and adding a dynamic road system that can be configured to suit the needs of the day. Shared spaces for playgrounds and social gathering spaces will also be created.
Smart signage, responsive street furniture, clean-energy-producing infrastructure, and transport hubs that offer a selection of private or shared transport modes are all part of the plan.
“Lugano is committed in redesigning the front lake and the city centre for the future citizens, focusing on a growing attention to dynamic public spaces, the coexistence of different mobility vectors, the development of green areas, the role of the water in city life, the impact of the landscape, and much more,” says Marco Borradori, Mayor of Lugano.
“The path began in 2018 when the Municipality went public with its vision and objectives, identifying innovation as one of the key points for urban development. The next step will hopefully be an open competition to create a new masterplan for the city of tomorrow. Our wish is that the vision could soon take the form of a realised project”.
According to the architects, the focus of the intervention preserves the historical value of the lakefront, designed by Pasquale Lucchini in 1863, and envisions it as a transition zone between the city and the water.
The floating island proposed in the plan offers a means by which Lugano can be physically connected to the lake, via a series of boardwalks, stretching the boundaries of the city to create much-needed public space together with a garden that will preserve the biodiversity of the waterway.
The Lugano plan continues CRA’s research into reconfigurable urban spaces that leverage new technologies to respond to people’s needs in real-time.
Images carloratti.com via Carlo Ratti Associati