By Lauro Bacca, Jornal de Santa Catarina
We used to confuse city of the future with a futuristic city, like old American drawings of the Jetsons family, where the idea of tomorrow’s personal happiness would be guaranteed by agile individual transport vehicles and what is more sophisticated in science fiction technology.
It is not so the Germans think, and many other countries so-called developed. Practicality and technological comforts will never dispense with the simplicity of public spaces, open to all, and the notion that cities are, above all, places for people and for social life and, although it may seem strange, also living with preserved nature. Urban environment and nature are not concepts that excludes one another.
Carolina Nunes is in Germany participating to a program on cities and solutions, rivers and cities and how people see nature. “Are we thinking about living with family and friends, or are we thinking of the city as just a place to go from home to work?”, asked Carolina one year ago in the local city council. We need to integrate our world into the river and nature and not the other way around”, she continued, noting that the great challenge now is to overcome old taboos and turn theory into practice. Therein lies the concept of renaturation that also involves ways to protect cities from floods, recover natural environments and public spaces for leisure.
I’ll sign under Carolina. For years I have questioned the project that intended to make the left bank of the Itajaí-Açu a mere mirror of the concretely right bank in Blumenau. “In Europe it’s all like this”, I’ve heard it many times. It turns out that in modern Europe the water courses have been managed in such a way as to bring them as close as possible to the natural, where sophisticated-simpler techniques, create a greater diversification of habitats, bringing what is possible from natural to the urban environment.
In London, busy places, like in the access to the subway, display posters extolling the importance of a bee or a mollusk in the ecological balance and natural nooks exist in any urban park. Even in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, home to British royalty, diverse flora and fauna occupy ample recantic corners beside the mowed grass. On the River Thames, just above the center, geese, swans and many other native birds and mammals coexist with the coming and going of boats and with the leisure and human sport of oars and kayaks, in a clean water that was once one of the most polluted of the world. Examples to be imitated.