This summer I have gone to a place completely new to me: The Alps. I was planning to go somewhere sunny, but instead, south Germany was my fortunate reality. I live in Berlin now, and since corona, it was a precaution not to leave the country during summer break. A great choice. It is the most beautiful thing I ever saw. Definitely breath taking.
All this journey brought me to the reflection of such an incredible and “inaccessible” nature. Despite the fact of its natural inaccessibility due to its high altitude and low temperatures, why are there such sacred places around the world where nature is so well preserved and inaccessible at the same time? Maybe it is a cause-effect. Or maybe it is not a unanimous though. It is probably a felling which exists in big cities, where we place nature within green areas, natural parks and forests legally delimitated.
I am from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. If you are from outside Brazil, you probably heard about Brazil being very green and have a picture of beaches and the amazing Amazon forest in your mind. And yes, that is true. But what about the rest? Brazil is the size of a continent – Europe fits in Brazil. Well, let me say that the rest many times does not follow this definition.
Of course, the discussion is much more complicated and has a lot of important historic facts. There is a reason and an explanation for each scenario. But what makes sense nowadays is that it is for sure possible to balance between natural, or wild, and civilized concepts. Countries such as Germany have a lot to teach us on how to proceed. They are still learning but have already acquired such an amazing relationship with nature.
I can only talk about my own experience. And based on that, I can say how surprised I am every single day on cycling to work, in the centre of Berlin, via green paths. Berlin and Brandenburg state have more than 3000 parks and green areas. Many lakes and forests. And they are not outside the city. There are everywhere. In Rio, or in Petrópolis, where I was born, I can easily count how many parks there are. Normally you need to drive to go somewhere really green.
All this discussion still does not mean that there is no nature around us even in places as described in Brazil. For sure not. Life in the urban area is everywhere. It depends on how we face that. But of course, we can make it look even more like home. Our real home.
I always remember some professors of mine during college saying how important it is to increase and grown the green spaces within cities since the natural legalized spaces are decreasing. At the same pace of avoiding deforestation, we can make of our cities real urban forests; including technology and everything we acquired to bring us comfort. Being creative is possible to come up with new ideas and to progressively leave old fashion unsustainable production and consumption styles behind.
Lastly, I would like to cite a nice post about nature integration in European cities. Take a look at this interesting text to notice how we still have a long way to follow. The publication presents an interesting map of green gradient in the capitals.
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