International Association for Impact Assessment

Green Puzzle: Environmental problems in Latin American urban green spaces and solutions based on the intelligence of the planet

  • Blog post by IAIA Board member Verónica Giberti

    Green Puzzle: Environmental problems in Latin American urban green spaces and solutions based on the intelligence of the planet

    In the city of Buenos Aires, as in many other cities in Latin America, the environmental management of green spaces faces recurring problems related to soil management, water regulation and efficient use, temperature regulation, waste management, and the balance of biodiverse habitats, among others. All these pieces make up a big puzzle – one that we must begin to piece together.

    The main trigger of these problems is the lack of adequate articulation between administrative jurisdictions, i.e., governance. That being said, we are well aware that the strategies and tools for action are specific to each city and country according to its context; therefore, we understand the importance of not extrapolating measures as globalized recipes. Economic and cultural differences make, in most cases, the application of standard measures unfeasible.

    What can we do? The Fronda team, a group of environmental assessment professionals working to find nature-based solutions to improve development projects, is getting to work using IAIA Innovation Grant funds. Our objective is to propose criteria for the selection of nature-based measures in order to develop management plans for urban green spaces in Latin America. We believe that these criteria will be useful to better identify measures that promote climate resilience through the preservation and promotion of ecosystem services provided by these spaces.

    So far, in the different spaces surveyed (different scales and age), we have found some interesting points to observe. One observation is that spaces associated with recreational, cultural, and spiritual benefits had a high density of use and an intense overlapping of activities of different natures (sports and recreation), depending on the time of day. We also confirmed that, of these same spaces, ones that have surface water bodies (lagoons, reservoirs, wetlands) and blue-green infrastructure have comparative advantages versus those that have only green and gray infrastructure. The presence of bodies of water generates greater diversity of services, which is associated with greater population welfare.

    A lot of work lies ahead, but we are excited to start processing data collected with the aim of providing criteria and indicators to help decide which nature-based solutions are the most appropriate for each situation.

     - Verónica Giberti, Director at Fronda

    Fronda, recipient of the IAIA Innovation Grant, is made up of environmental professionals Melina Santomauro, Marcela Palermo Arce, and Verónica Giberti. They are dedicated to working comprehensively with a systemic vision of the environment for the evaluation and management of projects with a focus on the sustainability of human activities and solutions based on nature.

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