Can environmental remediation operations generate the conditions for industry and recreation along the canal?
The water hyacinth, native to the estuary, has bloomed in the Riachuelo before to such an extent that industrial shipping operations were shut down in 1905 and 1967; the hyacinth grows at an incredible rate, provides habitat, and is a hyperaccumulator of heavy metals that frequently result from industrial operations, such as cadmium
To start the project; a speculation on the potentiality of the canalized portion of the Riachuelo in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The project proposes that the environmental remediation operations necessitated by the federal court “Mendoza” decision of 2008. The operations are to intended to be carried out by the river basin authority, ACUMAR.
This speculation proposes the humble water hyacinth and the rumbling dredge to generate a series of ephemeral landscapes in the canal and at the mouth of the river. The intent is to use the speculation as a method for bringing up the right questions.
The operations would happen at various scales- picking hyacinth, operating a dredger, conveyor belt systems, sedimentation- over decades. The plan set would necessarily be secondary to continual maintenance and construction processes.
year 2013- the first move is to inhabit the canal, create a processing center for the dredge spoils, and open access to the new public-industrial landscape with a pedestrian bridge (in red);the canal surface has been taken over by water hyacinth and navigation channels for the harvest boats and dredgers are maintained; a sediment processing platform is created at the mouth of the Riachuelo
year 2060- a poldering construction system, using the demolition debris from infrastructural projects in the city, allows for the establishment of new sediment catchment basins near the dredge spoils processing platform; the continued collection and composting of hyacinth, processing dredge spoils, and sedimentation from the Rio de la Plata estuary begin to create new landforms within polder boundaries created from construction rubble
year 2100- the manufactured soils created from the spoiled industrial residue of the canal combines with the rich biome of the estuary to create a new urban nursery for reforesting the city; new public-industrial landscapes are created through continual remediation, recreation, and industrial operation along the canal
View of the Canal from La Boca neighborhood- the water hyacinth overtaking the Riachuelo Canal, generating a new public landscape.
View looking toward the Rio de la Plata- the new poldered lands are organized along a main spine; the spine is a bundle of functions, moving manufactured soil, people, and also separating the public landscape from the petrochemical dock; constructed spurs run between the poldered lands, subject to the flood; the adjacent polders are near eye level and protected from the salin waters of the Rio de la Plata.
looking back toward the city from the Rio de la Plata- newly constructed lands provide space for an urban nursery that reforests the city; sports fields, boating areas, and birding also begin.
This brings up several key questions useful to the current thesis regarding the material practice of instrumentality (a list in the thick of the editing process):
1. How would people (workers and recreational users) access the canal?
2. What instruments are needed to tend, harvest, transport, and compost the hyacinth?
3. What are the instruments used in dredging? a) How frequently are they operating? b) how is the loading and unloading best achieved? c) what is the best way to stockpile the volume? d) how is the contaminated sediment treated and what are the necessary instruments in this process?
4) What are the space and machine requirements needed to produce manufactured soil?
(have a pithy, insightful question that I should really be addressing? Feel free to post it!)