Borders from the landscape perspective

Similar to many places in the world, Medellin has followed the planning process characterized by: functional emphasis, social emphasis, environment regards. The last, up to a level that could not be properly considered an emphasis jet.

Landscape is the core of the research, variable in itself, and in the case of the matter, that variation depends on other research variables like border, hillside and streams.

The "border" from institutional consideration, is usually seen as a line that the planner draws on a map, attending the use conditions more than the natural realities. As a line that, even in the recent past, some governors have pretended to identify by a particular colour (difficult or even impossible to materialize, but with a good reception from a naive point of view), to be seen from as many places as possible. A line almost without thickness that it is sometimes referred to as a "membrane"; a border as fragile as an administrative division that ignores or contradicts natural limits such as watersheds.

From the landscape point of view, this is to say, from a perspective that gathers natural dynamics, values and forms, signs of permanent occupation or in consolidation process, affective and appropriation relationships to the site, borders are not a line, and not even a fringe. It is an elongated space, composed by fragments or subspaces that aren’t anything else but micro-basin portions occupied and deformed or mistreated. These portions are curiously placed in a perpendicular position to the basin axis: the streams. This is, in terms of the reinforcement and prevalence of this site as a settlement, beyond its natural calling and shape identity.

As an academic work and counting on the experience, even brief as it is, of the Master in Landscape Design programme, an approach from the landscape discipline corresponds. The landscape, as people perceive it, is the result of the interaction of natural and human factors with an eye on ecological, social, functional and economic values. That means, as it was mentioned before, an integrated interdisciplinary focus.

The nature of a site’s landscape is the result of many interactions; that is why the approximation to its complexity makes it necessary to split it up in parts that aren’t just elements or physical subdivisions, they’re systems or layers, in a cartographic language. With this premise, we proceed to identify the different parts that in this case are defined as components and subcomponents (Table 1). Such disintegration allows a precise analysis, a settled research and a well-balanced result of the weight assigned to each part, in the general definition of work. In this matter, once there’s a certain grade of clarity about the circumstances and the meaning of each analysis component, we proceed to confront ones with others and to identify its interferences. This constitutes the first step to a new and necessary aggregation. Gradually, after retrospective revisions, that aggregation was consolidated, as complex as certain limits allow it to be, to conclude with a work of an integral proposal.

The work, according to the expressed methodology, was organized selecting the following landscape components and subcomponents that in the context of this research were considered the most relevant:




• Natural

Relief (topography)



• Hydrologic


• Social

Legal situation

Use of space and resources

Effects on space

and resources

• Morphologic



• Normative

Environment " Water Biodiversity Landscape

International ■ National Regional – Local


• Spatial/ perceptual

Middle distance Experiential

Table 1. Disaggregation in components and subcomponents for landscape diagnosis.

It is necessary to point out that even when the hydrologic matter is part of the nature component, in attention to the streams importance in the work it was decided to develop the hydrologic component apart.