Lugano (http://www.lugano.ch/) is a small-sized municipality located in Switzerland’s Canton Ticino and has a population of about 57'500 inhabitants. The economy of Lugano is organised around three main sectors which developed and acquired their leading positions at different times.
The first leading sector, dating back to the second half of the Nineteenth Century, is the tourism industry. The conditions of its birth and development are closely linked to the distinct and unique qualities of the subalpine landscape - the lake, its shores, the mountains of volcanic origin - as well as to the favourable climate conditions of the region. The second characteristic of the economy, based on an even older tradition, is trade.
The third crucial component is the financial and banking services sector. This sector, the last to emerge, is presently the main engine of Lugano’s economy. It started to develop in the years directly following the Second World War; between the sixties and the seventies it made the City the third financial market in the Confederation, and today it meets the most sophisticated demands of the high-tech service industry. But nowadays, there is another important sector which is vitally important to Lugano’s general image: culture.
Currently, Lugano is undergoing large-scale urban transformation related to the valorisation of the culture that will culminate in 2013, when the project of LAC (Lugano Art and Culture) http://www.mdam.ch/poloCulturale/centro_culturale.cfm will be inaugurated. This undertaking will see the development of a large new cultural centre in Lugano, offering a centre of excellence for the promotion of scientific and humanistic culture and an international platform for different expressions. The LAC will provide an unprecedented, dynamic and vibrant relationship between the arts and society, transforming Ticino into a cultural hub between Northern and Southern Europe.
Università della Svizzera italiana, established in 1996, is deeply rooted in the context of Lugano and is instrumental to its prospects for growth, offering 4 Faculties (Economics, Communication Sciences, Informatics, Architecture).