2050: what is the ‘New Deal’ for highways? Carlo Ratti is on it

This goes to the the sci-fi movies addicts out there, always fascinated about the future world and what it will look like: ‘New Deal’ pictures the future of highways

Innovation and design studio Carlo Ratti Associati, along with Italy’s leading road agency ANAS, have given a substance to our futuristic imagination with their new exhibition New Deal, envisioning the reality of smart highways for 2050.

With the launch of the self-driving vehicles, air-taxis, drones, autonomous shuttles and data-driven multimodality, the traditional mobility landscape will be a matter of question.

Vision for the future mobility landscape 'New Deal'
New Deal for highways by Carlo Ratti Associati

Hence New Deal delves into the future of the famous ring road “boulevard périphérique” of Paris at Les Routes du Futur du Grand Paris exhibition, arranged by the Forum Métropolitain du Grand Paris.

This concept is based on extensive research by Carlo Ratti’s MIT Senseable City Lab. The exhibition reflects the vision in five versions, two of which specifically dedicated to the memorable highway ‘“boulevard périphérique”.

The first one is “Living Laterality” transforming the ring road into space with half the number of roads currently existing and the inclusion of playgrounds.

“Living Above”
New Deal for highways by Carlo Ratti Associati

In the second one, “Living Above”, road space has been incorporated with inhabitable bridges constructed with green buildings above the “boulevard périphérique” itself, which acts as a connection between Paris and banlieues.

Another concept based on the Ile de France region, “Pavilion de l’Arsenal”, foresees the addition of infrastructure for energy production and even farming.

The fourth version “The streets of the world” proposes the 12 car lanes integrated on the humongous A6 French highway, transforming the central part of the road into photovoltaic plants or greenhouses.

Sensor poles and drones charging station - New Deal envisions smart highways for 2050.
New Deal for highways by Carlo Ratti Associati

The last concepts by Carlo Ratti Associati, “Multimodality Everywhere” and “The Dynamic Road”, include drones flying around highways providing first aid deliveries while pole sensors send out instant alerts to future human and autonomous drivers.

This project also focuses on disruptive ways of collection of mobility data with a goal of improvement in the management of traffic and road safety measures.


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