Lima Day 3

Day 3 in Lima was quite exhausting because we started by getting up at 5 AM to go to the farthest side of town (Comas) to join the Mayor as she started a project to plant 40,000 trees in the city. Here is SAIC’s Frances Whitehead, the leader of our Peru project, talking with Mayor Susanna Villaran. You can also see our main partners, Gunther Merzthal to the left and Anna Zuchetti to the right.

We got a chance to introduce the Mayor to our proposed collaboration, helping bring urban agriculture into the center of the city, the World Heritage area, while also supporting local community development. The ceremony included of course schoolchildren and the tree planting itself.

We then met with the Instituto Catastral, essentially a mapping agency that is developing a very impressive geographic database for the city, that will include not only aerial photos, lot sizes, but also condition assessments, historic status and other valuable information. We then returned to Barrios Altos, the section of the World Heritage area that is a bit of a rough inner-city neighborhood, to identify a half dozen possible projects for our students to work on. I was especially interested in buildings that had been carved out as parking in the rear, not because I liked that, but because it offers more opportunities for urban agriculture without removing any historic fabric (because it has already been removed!)

This second one is actually outside Barrios Altos in the central area.

There are a lot of beautiful facades in the area, and this is the more commercial section of the larger Barrios Altos neighborhood, so much of the ground floors are given over to shops.

Despite the deterioration in this area, you still see some of the famous Lima wooden balconies, including these two on Ayacucho, the second of which is an open balcony, the first such I saw.

Here is a classic heritage conservation/historic preservation situation: We found this lovely building which is a facade barely surviving, in the center area, with a huge space behind. The great irony here is that the building is actually owned by a finance ministry, which apparently does not have the resources to restore it.

Back to Barrios Altos. We needed to identify a half dozen possible projects, but we found about 27! Lots of great buildings: here are a few more:

Okay, can’t resist. Some of our group did not like this bit of total Corbu Brutalism but the archigeeks did….

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