January 23, 2017

Buenos Aires 3 – Where's the green space?

From above, to a Vancouverite’s eyes, there’s something odd about Buenos Aires:
Where’s the green space? – the parks and fields scattered across the city, like here:
Not surprising then, to find this item under “Urban Problems” in the Wikipedia profile of BA:

Buenos Aires has below 2 m2 (22 sq ft) of green space per person, which is ten times less than New York, seven times less than Madrid and five times less than Paris.
The World Health Organization (WHO), in its concern for public health, produced a document stating that every city should have a minimum of 9 m2 (97 sq ft) of green space per person. An optimal amount would sit between 10 and 15 m2 (161 sq ft) per person

Or another comparison:
Hell if I can figure out how to convert 2.75 acres per thousand residents to square meters per person.  Or even if that’s the right number, depending on what’s being counted.  Help me out here.
In any event, we’re talking a difference in culture too.  Latin American cities generally do not have the ‘garden city’ tradition of the British-settled Commonwealth.  But where, I wonder, do the kids play futbol, since I never once saw a soccer field even in the larger parks, nor pick-up games in the streets or plazas.

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  1. When I was a kid in BA, I played soccer at school, on a rooftop playing surface (which I’m pretty sure was painted concrete), with a tennis ball or a juice box stuffed with other juice boxes (we weren’t allowed soccer balls because the space wasn’t big enough).
    Every week we took a school trip to a suburban sports park for gym class, but not all schools could afford that.
    We also played on the beach in the summer, and in the plazas in the city. You can play a decent 5 on 5 in some plazas.
    Teaches you good ball control 🙂