Bosques Asociados: Buenos Aires
Working with professors at the University of Buenos Aires School of Architecture and Urbanism, Cities4Forests has co-created a program featuring Partner Forests as a core urban design strategy. Over the course of a year, students will explore ideas for how to best connect the needs of metropolitan Buenos Aires with the conservation needs of tropical forests in Argentina. Municipal officials will be involved in course instruction, reviewing student work, and selecting the best ideas for implementation. The first course ran from April to November 2021.
The idea behind the Partner Forests program is to connect cities with specific tropical forest areas and communities for mutual benefit, especially in support of forest conservation and restoration strategies. Each city (in this case the peri-urban municipalities) committed to the cause will select a different forest area as a partner. This partnership will take various forms, for example, the use of sustainably sourced wood from the forest at a visible city landmark (from that urban edge area), or the use of non-timber forest products, such as rubber, coffee or cocoa in a creative and sustainable way. Programs may also include research and exchange trips for citizens, students, and leaders between the forest and the city. The project seeks to answer the following questions:
What are the needs and operations of the city region?
Are there existing connections between Buenos Aires and tropical forests, within Argentina and/or worldwide?
How is or can the public and public space be engaged in these connections?
What is the infrastructure that constitutes a city, from physical infrastructure like parks, trains and buildings to shared knowledge and culture
How should cities react to the climate change crisis? What is their responsibility? How can they act? What types of responsibility, power or authority do cities have?
What is the relationship between biodiversity and cultural diversity, and how can architects respond?
Argentina’s forests possess important forest wealth. This heritage is an essential resource of our country that contributes to the well-being and improvement in the quality of life of the population through benefits such as climate regulation, biodiversity, protection of water basins, soil conservation, provision of water and maintenance of ecosystems. The actions that cities take will be key to meeting climate change goals and protecting the planet. Thus, there is an immediate need for design disciplines to be able to generate these approaches and anchors on forests from the study of ecoregions with systemic thinking.
Course Lead: Elizabeth Vergara, Arq.
Bosques Asociados Presentation at COP26