By Roberto Lucchese
Photos by Genaro Alva
The fast growth of Lima city has caused its densification in order to cover the existing demands. Consequently there is a housing boom that offers the most amount of square meters available leaving behind the importance of public recreation spaces. Furthermore, the lack of an urbanistic view by town councils has turned parks, plazas, boulevards, among others in irrelevant places for citizens who ignore their importance in a high quality life. Over the last years the town council of Lima has built a certain amount of zonal parks but it is not a public space to the city because citizen has to pay to use them. That is why Lima needs more public space instead of private clubs.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Lima Metropolitan Urban Plan (PLANDEMET) and other institutions, for every inhabitant that lives in Lima, this one should offer an 8m2 of recreational area. In our case, Lima only gives 1.98 m2 to their inhabitants. In other words, there is a 4 800 hectare deficit of recreational areas.
Is before this context that GREEN INVASION was created. This project looks to show the lack of recreation areas in Lima by the occupation of a forgotten area of the city in order to recover and reactivate its public sense. In addition, this “took” of the city will be reactive because the citizens will be able to be a part of this growing virus of the GREEN INVASION, that will expand and reproduce for the Cities benefit.
It’s against this context that GREEN INVASION was created, to notice the lack of recreational areas, the lack of an urban forestry and landscape plan for Lima. All this, through the occupation of a neglected area of the city which will be recovered, as a result will reactivate the public sense of the city. Furthermore, this appropriation will be reactive, as users involved in the spread of this invasion that reproduces and grows for the benefit of the city.
Green Invasion, designed by architects Genaro Alva, Denise Ampuero, Gloria Andrea Rojas and industrial designer Claudia Ampuero, tries to transform “El Pasaje Encarnación” (a street used as a parking spot in spite of its banning) into a long green carpet made with natural grass and complemented with urban furniture (seats, tables, children playgrounds, flower pots, trash cans and sculptures) built with recycled materials such as rubber and plastic. Is in this way, that Green Invasion has a double connotation, it can be understood not only in a literal way but also in an Ecological sense.
The strategy for the occupation of the area was introduced by the installation of an initial amount of grass and urban furniture. These ones began to grow with the help of the public and private instititutions and also by the citizens that wanted to be part of this growing virus. In addition, this idea can be imitated in others neighborhoods because the main goal is that every citizen can be able to create its own natural-sustainable-urbanscape when the state has forgotten about them.