The Urbane Ecologist


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Greetings from Lima!

Hola from Lima, Peru! I’m conducting fieldwork as part of my master’s program. Our class of almost 60 people has 6 projects in different parts of Lima, including Costa Verde, Barrios Altos, El Agostino, Chiquitanta, and Pachacamac. Feel free to check out the project websites:

  • Learning Lima, at http://www.learninglima.net/ (available also in Spanish) and http://www.bartlett.ucl.ac.uk/dpu/news/learning-lima-launch
  • cLIMA sin Riesgo (CLIMAte without Risk) at http://www.climasinriesgo.net/

My group is in a centro poblado rurale (rural population center) in the peri-urban region of Lima called Quebrada Verde. It is located in the district of Pachacamac, which was named Lima’s “ecological and touristic district” in 1991. It lies along the Lurin River, one of the three rivers of Lima.

(Google Maps)

Lima. Quebrada Verde is marked with the red symbol. (Google Maps)

Quebrada Verde is the settlement on the left. The river running north-south close to its western urban boundary is the Lurin River. The valley that the  river runs through is known as the "green lung" of Lima due to its agricultural importance.

Quebrada Verde, with the Lurin River on its eastern boundary. (Google Maps) 

Quebrada Verde is the settlement on the left. The river running north-south close to its eastern urban boundary is the Lurin River. The valley that the river runs through is known as the “green lung” of Lima due to its agricultural importance. To the west of Quebrada Verde is an ecotouristic park dedicated to lomas preservation. Lomas are an ecosystem unique to the western coast of South America. Lomas are an ecosystem unique to the western coast of South America.

Having studied Lima for so many months from our laptops and class discussion in London, the opportunity to come to the city was a unique experience. The research gave the city a texture that I have never before felt, and I feel immensely fortunate.

A few days each sub-group had their first day of fieldwork. For the Quebrada Verde group, that meant going to the centro poblado rurale with our partner, and meeting the president of the ecotourist park and the president of the centro poblado rurale itself. We walked around the area and interviewed people, and drew important things we saw or talked about on a large printout of a satellite image of the area we got from Google Maps (which we found out was almost 10 years old, by the way! Thus the map above is actually pretty outdated).

Here’s our first blog post as a group! I’ll be writing more over the following days. A very good article that came out about a week before our fieldwork was “How the World Bank is Financing Environmental Destruction” with a focus on Peru (Guardian, Ben Hallman and Roxana Olivera, 16 April) — enjoy!

Saludos!

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