Urban Parks

Cristina Lodi

is an architect, master in Conservation and Historic Preservation at Columbia University – Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (MS) and expert in Cultural Heritage

Rio Parks and Landscapes: a contribution to urban sustainability in the twenty-first century

In 2012 Rio's Cultural Landscape was inscribed on UNESCO's List of World Heritage Sites in an unprecedented act, since this is the 1st urban landscape of the list, which aggregates the fundamental cultural heritage for the preservation of humanity's memory.

The main Rio's urban parks are the structural elements of the inscribed landscape: the Tijuca National Park, the City Park with the Museum and the Botanical Garden, the entrance to Guanabara Bay with the Sugar Loaf, the drawn water edges of parks like Flamengo, the Passeio Publico (Public Garden), and Copacabana beach, the historic forts of Niteroi and Rio's. The significant urban culture complements the exceptional physical attributes of public parks in the characterization of Rio's cultural landscape: music, dance, outdoor leisure, among others.

As a result, the preservation of Rio's landscape joined the City's Master Plan, as an important guideline of its Urban Policy. Also it generated a number of initiatives in other countries, where the landscapes and their physical, social, environmental, and cultural attributes have become pillars of urban sustainability.

The landscape of Rio dominates its territory; its parks define the cultural and touristic routes, which characterize Rio as a city museum.