Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA) and transport planners, Mobility in Chain (MIC), have created a series of public spaces on Lugano’s waterfront, the project comprising a floating garden and adaptable waterfront.

The proposed public spaces will envision fluidity between the city and lake by way of partly pedestrianising the waterfront, reconfiguring the road’s number of lanes depending on the time of day, and shared surfaces with playgrounds and social spaces.

“The project aims to increase the number of connections between the city and lake by overhauling the main traffic artery cutting through Lugano’s shore,” according to a statement by Carlo Ratti Associati.

The waterfront includes a range of smart technologies including smart signage, responsive street furniture and clean-energy infrastructure.

Electric autonomous vehicles and micro-mobility solutions will integrate private mobility into the new plan, with a series of mobility hubs where people can select their preferred, shared mode of transport.

“By analysing mobile and traffic data and backing up the mobility concept’s definition with a model-based scientific approach, we supported CRA’s urban vision of transforming the fracture of today’s Lakefront vehicular axis into a responsive space,” says Federico Parolotto, senior partner at MIC.

“Hosting new mobility solutions, [we enabled] the waterfront to adjust dynamically to the vibrant ecosystem of Lugano.”

This is not Carlo Ratti’s first ‘walk in the park’, a previous example of his reconfigurable urban spaces leveraging new technologies include MIND.

The former sit of Milan’s 2015 World Fair, reimagined by CRA, was a new type of public space with plazas, vegetable gardens, offices, research centres, university faculties and residences which were integrated with urban agriculture and the world’s first neighbourhood planned for autonomous mobility.

Now, in 2020, Lugano’s new waterfront will be an “opportunity to create a responsive edge for the city, experimenting with novel ways of blending nature and urban space,” says Carlo Ratti.