Research is still on the process but partial results have been obtained as preliminary guidelines, taking as reference the Manual of Environmental Guidelines for the design of Infrastructural Projects in Bogota D. C.
The first result has been the construction of general criteria to facilitate the applicability of landscape concepts and assessment on the identified reality. These criteria intend to cover, in balance, the broad conceptual basis of landscape: natural, human perception, social function, and environment. As it may be identified in the following list, criteria from 1 to 3 correspond to natural basis, from 4 to 6 correspond to human perception, from 7 to 9 correspond to social function and the last one to environment.
1. Hydrological functionality
2. Promotion of biota
3. Contribution to environmental conditions
4. Valuation of riparian landscape on hillside
5. Conscience of the historic present
6. Responsible appropriation of streams in hillside
7. Minimization of the risk
8. Recreational benefit
9. Educational benefit
10. Environmental sustainability
The second result is a set of guidelines for intervention in the landscape, feasible to be adopted in local politics and regulations that foster the streams as landscape structuring entities. Each one of the three tables produced addresses a feature of those present in the streams: one on the course, another on the waterside, and the last one on intersections with roads or other infrastructure items. Only the second one is presented ahead (Table 3).
The guidelines have been organized according to progressive stages of a project: planning, design and intervention. The first stage is addressed principally to public decision makers, the second to designers and the third to constructors. Crossing the mentioned criteria with these stages, a matrix was obtained to register, as guidelines, the ideas discussed and agreed
by the research team, each one of the members’ standard-bearer of her or his component of responsibility.
In synthesis, summarizing the three described tables there are around 200 ideas that could be taken into account when facing a project in borders, near a stream, for a better landscape in projects responsible and respectful of natural resources, people’s feelings, society needs, and environmental consciousness.
Borders have been always a special issue for settled communities. The landscape of borders on steep slopes is a very dynamic and complex fact that deserves, on one side a deep analysis and, on other, creative solutions to cope with preservation of natural resources, satisfaction of social needs and development of cultural identity.
Certain Rogers’ statements have been confirmed: Cities have become pests in the landscape, vast bodies that absorb energy from the planet for their maintenance: relentless consumers, relentless pollutants. (Rogers, 2000, pg. 27). Although many efforts have been carried out, the evidence shows that those are not enough to counteract the environmental damage. A healthy environment is the basis of a sound landscape so the two issues have to be attended together for both body and spirit heal.
There will be no sustainable cities up to the moment that urban ecology, economics, sociology be integrated into urban planning (Rogers, 2000, pg. 32). To complete this comprehensive statement it is also necessary to apply and benefit from the integrative function of the landscape approach and its perceptual issues, to accomplish, not just well constructed or equipped, but enjoyable cities that reach both mind and hearth of people.9
An intense responsible work has to be undertaken, at least in the developing world, to situate landscape matters in the authorities and managers’ minds and hearts. This is part of the academy responsibility to develop a strategic way to evidence the significant importance of landscape matters and put them closer to public decision makers to position them on par with infrastructure, housing, mobility or industry in search of better cities for happier people.
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