07 Dec Wasteland Turns to Wonderland: Discover Buenos Aires’ Green Side

[caption id="attachment_2336" align="alignnone" width="660"] Bird's eye view of Rio de la Plata.[/caption] It’s encouraging when governments deem areas of land as national parks and ecological reserves. Clearly, there’s credence in the science behind their establishment. This holds especially true for ecological reserves, where human impacts on ecology are (or were, rather) becoming tangible. Developmental sprawl intrudes the habitats of species endemic to specific areas, threatening their existence. Furthermore, the impacts of expansion on ecology are unpredictable, as an impact on one species may affect another without obviously appearing so, and recognized only after irreparable damage is done. The preventative aspect of ecological reserves remains particularly appealing. While it’s easy to discuss ecology metaphorically, Buenos Aires, Argentina took action. The city's government established the Buenos Aires Ecologica Reserva, also known as Costanera Sur. The area had previously been a promenade, with coffee shops and bars lining the banks of the Rio de la Plata in the 20s and 30s. However, river contamination drove consumers away, leading to the deterioration and eventual destruction of these establishments. As the river grew it began to overtake some of the promenade, and trash dumping was normal. This incited the proposal to reclaim the land. Eventually these plans were abandoned and the site was left alone. In the absence of human interaction, a massively diverse explosion of fauna began. In 1986, the diversity of species and their ecological interactions were recognized and began being protected as a natural park...

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