Live Axis (Eixo Vivo) is the restructuring project of the Monumental Axis of Maringá that seeks to recover urban life and the uniqueness of the central area of the city. It acts as an impulse that enables the creation of an identity and promotes different opportunities for interaction and appropriation of the public space, enhancing the articulation of the city’s territory by configuring a panorama of development, inclusion and conservation, through propositions and strategies capable of enhancing the existing structure and at the same time preserve local memory.
The proposal values the essence of the axis as a public space. The logic of occupation of the urban environment is reversed: the project awakens a seam of the current space, highlighting the role of the pedestrian in the territory and the user experience in permeating this place that offers dynamic, affective encounters, connections, and relationships with the city. From the user’s perspective, urban design develops as a platform that sustains and reveals the diverse potential of the place.
Maringá is a municipality recognized for the quality of its urban design, with its wide avenues, tree-lined streets, and predominance of green spaces. The monumental axis connects expressive spaces in the north-south direction of the city center.
The design strategy is based on a three-tiered approach: “living landscape”, which recovers the agricultural memory of the municipality and incorporates nature beyond visual contemplation; “Mobility”, transforming the axis totally into a space for pedestrians, inverting the current hierarchy of vehicle predominance; and “active infrastructure”, which opens spaces for greater interaction with the public space and relates the equipment, systems, technologies and other elements to the user’s experience in place.
The axis consists of sections of different characteristics. The proposed program dialogues with the pre-existing vocation of each location and its surroundings. Thus, along the axis, activities aimed at different audiences and at different times of the day, take place. Amphitheater, sports courts, skating rinks, games area, hiking trails, contemplative gardens, children’s playground, canine park, and kiosks are some of the proposed structures.
The living landscape acts as an important agent of environmental improvement, consolidating an ecological corridor that connects the axis to other natural and green areas of the city, in addition to creating dynamic and fluid spaces capable of entertaining, feeding, conserving, raising awareness, educating, and providing a sense of belonging to people.
Decreasing the role of cars and individual transportation along the axis is one of the main premises of the project. The pedestrianization of the axis was proposed, with the relocation of parking spaces. The proposed mobility system prioritizes active transport, with traffic moderation strategies being adopted, providing safe interactions between the different types of transport present in space.
The success of the project depends on people´s involvement in the space. In addition to implementing equipment and creating new spaces, composing activation strategies helps in the development of a people-oriented city. Examples of such strategies are the development of guidelines for standardization and strengthening of active facades of establishments, the elaboration of a calendar of events and activities and the creation of flexible spaces with the possibility of hosting different uses, generating an additional vibration in the public space.