The project for access to the beach at Carrara pursued two aims, not only a newdesign for the pedestrian route together with the necessary urban furnishings but also and above all the creation of a tool capable of resolving the chaos generated over the years by the combined presence of the harbour, inner harbour activities and commercial structures connected with the beach. A situation typical of the condition of many Italian shorelines, proving beyond the capacity of planning and everyday management to ensure the orderly organization of public areas, access through the eastern harbour gateway had become indispensable to the safety of a pedestrian walkway in open conflict with the harbour and inner harbour activities.
The project was therefore conceived as a strategic master plan in order both to develop the overall design and above all to create a tool for dialogue with the many parties involved, from the Harbour Authority to the owners of the commercial enterprises along the pathway, as they all had to be asked to sacrifice a small portion of their respective space and redefine their frontage or modify its appearance aesthetically. This was by no means easy for such a consolidated context pervaded by a very low sense of quality.
The master plan strategically stimulated participation in the project of various parties, working on the design and the proposals for urban furnishing. In particular, it displayed the ability to employ a project apparently restricted to urban furnishing in more territorial terms, albeit on the local scale, creating new connections also with nearby pathways, designing new squares and offering new viewpoints on the seafront. In addition, the master plan was used to handle relations between the various bodies involved – the Harbour Authority, as primary owner of the areas crossed by the walkway; the Italian Navy, as owner of some structures there; and town council of Carrara – in a particular condition midway between municipal instruments of urban planning, special instruments like the harbour plan, and local instruments of implementation regarding transformations then under way.
The end result is evidently marked by the different purposes for which it was conceived. It was thus decided to forgo the use of materials or urban furnishings of any particular quality and rely on the overall urban quality control of the operation in the knowledge that this opening made it possible not only to ensure the safety of a dangerous crossing for the many users of the beach but also to develop, through use of the master plan, cooperation between different bodies and tools of planning.