Carlo Ratti Associati has unveiled their vision for the urban highways of Paris in 2050. Reinventing the city’s infamous Boulevard Périphérique ring road, the firm’s “New Deal” explores the potential for urban highways to be flexible spaces for living, playing and farming. The vision was created by a curatorial team led by SEURA Architectes, alongside Jornet Llop, Pastor Arquitectes, Carlo Ratti Associati, landscapers Anna Cervera and Marina Zahonero, and Leonard, VINCI Group’s foresight platform. The exhibition presenting the New Deal, titled Les Routes du Futur du Grand Paris, explores how urban mobility is being reshaped by technological innovations, from electric and autonomous vehicles to data-driven multimodality. Drawing on research from bodies such as the MIT Senseable City Lab, the exhibition speculates on how the city’s highways might look in 2050, through the presentation of the New Deal’s five visions. The first two are dedicated to the Boulevard Périphérique, a highway circling the city. In “Habiter Le Lateralité” (“Living Laterality”), the current number of car lanes is more than halved, with remaining space converted into a reconfigurable playground. In “Habiter les Dessus” (“Living Above”), a series of green residential buildings are placed over the Peripherique like a set of inhabitable bridges, recomposing a historical fracture between the two Paris’: that of the historical city and that of the banlieues.
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