Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Whose Green Space Is This?

Green soon gone? A park in peril.
For as long as I've known the area, neighbors as well as students have used this green space at the upper end of Jimenez Ave. alongside the Universidad de los Andes to walk their dogs, play football, etc.

A doggie conversation in the park.
However, I recently learned, from a university employee and neighbors, that Los Andes plans to replace the park with a mostly cement plaza as part of their new building project, which however does include lots of new green space inside the university.

I have no idea who owns or administers this space, but it is clear that, over the years, residents have come to depend on it as their neighborhood park. There isn't much other useful green space nearby, of course. The area in front of the Quinta de Bolivar is hilly and has a reputation for muggings. The green patches in the Plaza del Periodista are roamed by drug pushers, which scares others away.

The university plans to replace the
police bunker with a new building.
For the university to unilaterally remove the grassy areas, without public consultation, seems abusive and high-handed, and perhaps even illegal.

This is not the only damaging project being carried out by a university in La Candelaria. On the hills above the neighborhood, the Externado University is constructing two huge towers, turning the green hillsides into cement walls.

One would have hoped that leading universities, which teach about sustainable development, preserving the environment and improving quality of life, would apply those values to their own actions. One would hope.

Lots of cement, little green, in the university's vision. (Photo: Facebook)
An overhead view. (Photo: Facebook)
These new apartment towers nearby will soon fill with students - who will also want green space.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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