Parque da Cidade Sarah Kubitschek - Brazil

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Name Parque da Cidade Sarah Kubitschek
Place Brasília
Country Brazil
Author(s) Bruna Spagnol Soares
World Heritage if applicable,enter the year of listing

Parque Sarah Kubtschek 09.jpg

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Why is this case relevant?

This park was designed to meet the lack of leisure areas in the country's new capital, Brasilia, our first fully planned city. The city was designed to increase settlements in interior regions of the country, whose abandonment threatened Brazilian territorial limits. The estimated area of the park is 390 hectares. Its urban planning, buildings and landscaping were signed by the greatest names of Brazilian modernist architecture: Lúcio Costa, Oscar Niemeyer, Glauco Campello and Roberto Burle Marx. A number of recreational areas have been created, catering to all age groups. Environmental comfort has also been taken into account, as the city locates in a desertic biome called the Cerrado - a savannah with the world's highest biodiversity. Its importance is due to its size and influence in the city, the diversity of urban equipment and infrastructure, but especially for the cultural heritage of modernism and works signed by such important names in our recent history.

Which idea of ‘design with nature’ guides the design concept of this site?

Because it is an urban park, which also includes pavilions of events and schools, its concept is highly designed. Artificial lakes, skating rinks, spectacle arenas, among other buildings require constant maintenance. Regarding vegetation, the landscaper Burle Marx designed gardens with more organic forms, using several native species and large green masses, which would certainly reduce the maintenance of green areas. However, his project was not executed as it should - he even published a letter of indignation 6 months after the inauguration - and what is observed today are species located punctually, that lose their aesthetic value and alter the ideas of the author. As Brasilia has a desertic climate with low rainfall, vegetation does not grow at an accelerated rate. However, since the park had not been run according to the project, there is a larger area of ​​lawns than idealized, which means increased maintenance. In my view, urban parks in general need more maintenance, especially in built-up areas. Developing countries may suffer with an additional factor, which is crime in places with few users, dark spots for too much vegetation or lack of artificial lighting, where people can hide and surprise their victims. Thus, even if it was a park with more natural vegetation, the maintenance requirement would still be high, aiming to transmit safety to users.

Which challenges is this landscape facing?

The biggest threat to Parque da Cidade (City Park) is definitely lack of maintenance, which leads to other problems. Equipment such as dressing rooms, toilets, a swimming pool with waves and a playground shaped as a small castle are deactivated since the end of the 90’s and are targets of vandalism, housing for homeless people and hiding place for drug users. Because of its size, people are still using other areas of the park to exercise, walk dogs, have barbecues and other activities, but they still classify the local as average. According to Beck, people spend just a few hours in the area, once there’s not enough infrastructure. Many plans and laws have been made to improve the quality of the place, including listing Burle Marx’s design as a national heritage, but no real action were put into practice. Lack of financial support is the most common explanation for the abandonment, especially since Brazil faced its longest economic crisis after the 80’s, from 2014 to 2017. I believe small actions such as the opening of the toilets, snack bars and restaurants would already be a great start to attract more public to the area and develop an internal (and sustainable) economy to help finance the rest of the necessary maintenance. A leisure area bigger than Central Park should be better taken care of!

What would be your strategy for improvement?

My strategy for improvement would be to engage the population into the development of the park. The first step should be the basic infrastructure, such as toilets, snack bars and restaurants. These points could be a start to attract more public to the area and develop an internal (and sustainable) economy to help finance the rest of the necessary maintenance. I would follow with the implementation of Burle Marx’s design through actions involving local schools, by offering workshops to emphasise social, historical and cultural aspects of the nature in the park. The children would have the opportunity to plant themselves, creating a sense of belonging, and spreading the knowledge to their parents and community. Private companies with green approach could support these events in exchange for free publicity in the site, helping the first injection of money. Public private partnership are always a good solution, although the Brazilian bureaucracy can be an obstacle. I believe that the restoration of an original Burle Marx design would enhance the potential of the park and attract more users than the local population, becoming another tourism spot inside Brasília.


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References

BECK, P. V. Parques urbanos do Distrito Federal e qualidade de vida: um esuto de caso no Parque da Cidade. il. Lato Sensu Postgraduate Thesis (Analysis and sustainable development) - Centro Universitário de Brasília (UniCEUB/ICPD). Brasília, 2012. Available at: http://www.repositorio.uniceub.br/jspui/bitstream/235/7750/1/51102505.pdf. [Acessed 10 December 2018].

PIRES, B. RORIZ, G. Descaso e abandono: a realidade dos parques do DF. Esquina On-line. Centro Universitário de Brasília (UniCEUB), Editor Profa. Dra. Carolina Assunção e Alves. Brasília, DF, Brazil. 01 June 2018. Available at: https://medium.com/esquinaonline/descaso-e-abandono-a-realidade-dos-parques-do-df-c829dd3aaf3f. [Acessed 11 December 2018].

PORTAL R7. Ponto de encontro dos brasilienses, Parque da Cidade acumula problemas e obras sem fim. Portal R7, São Paulo, Brazil. 01 February 2015. Available at: https://noticias.r7.com/distrito-federal/ponto-de-encontro-dos-brasilienses-parque-da-cidade-acumula-problemas-e-obras-sem-fim-02022015. [Acessed 11 October 2018].

SECRETARIA de Estado de Fazenda. Parque da Cidade Dona Sarah Kubitschek. Governo de Brasília, Brasília. Available at: http://www.fazenda.df.gov.br/area.cfm?id_area=1324. [Acessed 10 December 2018].

SCONETTO, R. Parque da Cidade chega aos 40 anos com sinal de abandono. Jornal de Brasília, Brasília, DF, Brazil. 11 October 2018. Available at: http://www.jornaldebrasilia.com.br/cidades/parque-da-cidade-chega-aos-40-anos-com-sinais-de-abandono. [Acessed 15 December 2018].

TANURE, J. D. O projeto de paisagismo de Burle Marx e equipe para o "Parque da Cidade" em Brasília, DF. Universidade de Brasília, Brasília, 2007. Available at: https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/33531298.pdf. [Acessed 09 October 2018].

VIEIRA, Pedro Henrique Andrade. Crise da meia idade? O processo de parceria público-privada no parque da cidade dona Sarah Kubitschek. 2017. 66 f., il. Barchelor Thesis (Bachelor of Tourism) - Universidade de Brasília, Brasília, 2017. Available at: http://bdm.unb.br/handle/10483/18112. [Acessed 11 December 2018].

WIKIPEDIA contributors. Parque da Cidade Dona Sarah Kubitschek. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 22 July 2004. Available at: https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parque_da_Cidade_Dona_Sarah_Kubitschek.[Acessed 09 October 2018].


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