Founded By: POR FESR 2014-2020

Start date: 3 Aug. 2019          End date: 1 Feb. 2021

Grant: € 458.577,70

Partners: Coop Services, Human Inspired Technology (HIT) Research Centre (University of Padova), Fondazione Fenice Onlus, My Wood, In Concerto, Euroveneta

Sponsor: Fondazione Fenice Onlus of Human Inspired Technology (HIT) Research Centre (University of Padova)

HTLab Involved People: Luciano Gamberini, Alice Bettelli, Patrik Pluchino, Valeria Orso

The SHIP project was born out of the need to develop equipment for urban parks that promote actions and practices of social, cultural, and environmental sustainability. The HTLab team engaged in co-design activities involving various end-users (e.g., elderly, adults, and children with different motor abilities), caregivers, and stakeholders in focus group sessions. The aim was to investigate needs, desires, requirements, and preferences related to urban green areas. The results were combined with a review of scientific literature and UNI and ISO regulations, leading to identifying guidelines that informed the design and development of prototypes. Collaboration with experts in architectural design, the biomedical field, and physical activity allowed a design research and prototype engineering phase to begin.
Simultaneously, the environmental and social context of several urban parks in the Padua area was analyzed to identify the most suitable location for the project. Once the prototypes were developed and installed by MyWood S.p.a (leading furniture company), HTLab evaluated the feasibility of the pavement, the inclusivity and accessibility of the prototypes, and the perceived experience and well-being involving various end-users in the dedicated area.

The outcome at the Parco Fornace Morandi in Padua is an experimental, accessible, and inclusive pathway inspired by natural elements. Organic geometry takes inspiration from Ikebana, an ancient Japanese art that involves arranging natural elements such as branches, leaves, and flowers to create compositions. Based on these principles, the main path branches out from the existing central axis into two curvilinear paths that intersect. Along these paths, there are islands shaped like leaves, made of recycled rubber, housing universally appealing urban furniture and fitness equipment that promote well-being and enjoyment, reducing architectural barriers and social isolation.
The project lays the groundwork for creating public green environments in urban areas that foster new educational models and actions aimed at the psychophysical and social well-being of citizens, considering the park not just a place of purely aesthetic and passive fruition but a space of shared experience.


Bettelli, A., Orso, V., Pluchino, P., Dainese, G., Campagnaro, V., Narne, E., … & Gamberini, L. (2022). SHIP Project: Designing Inclusive, Accessible, and Sustainable Urban Parks. In Italian Forum of Ambient Assisted Living (pp. 153-162). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

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