Thursday, January 17, 2013

Protecting Trees Against New Building Constructions. Protegiendo Arboles Contra Nuevos Edificios

The endangered Jacaranda (left), the Palm tree (profile seen in foreground) and Ash tree on right. La Jacaranda, la Palma (perfil visible al fondo) y el Fresno (derecha).


Recalling the case of the trees that have been sentenced to death, fortunately all are still standing but are in great danger. The above are two separate images (one taken in the summer, the other in winter) of the older trees, the Jacaranda, the Ash (fraxinus excelsior) and the Palm (palma Phoenix canariensis) - they are approximately 100 years old -, including about 20 trees that are about to be felled to build a high-rise building with 20 apartments and two underground levels to hold 40 cars. In these two pics one can see that the three trees are in closer proximity to the street and we are certain there is no reason why the architects and building contractors cannot include them in their architectural project without having to kill them. As for the other 18 to 20 medium sized trees (most of them fruit trees) within the lot, we consider they can be transplanted to a nearby park instead of being felled.

Recordando el caso de los arboles sentenciados a muerte, por fortuna aun están en pie pero siguen bajo alto riesgo de ser derribados. Las dos imagenes anteriores (una tomada en el verano 2012 y la otra en invierno) de la Jacaranda, el Fresno (fraxinus excelsior) y la Palma (palma phoenix canariensis) - los tres de aproximadamente 100 años -, así como una veintena de arboles en el mismo predio, están a punto de ser talados para construir un edificio de 20 departamentos y dos niveles subterráneos para 40 coches.  En estas dos fotos podemos ver que estos tres arboles centenarios están mas cercanos al muro que da a la calle, por lo tanto consideramos que no hay razón por que los arquitectos no puedan incluirlos en su proyecto sin masacrarlos. Consideramos también que los 20 arboles medianos (la mayoría de ellos frutales) pueden ser transplantados a un parque cercano en vez de derribarlos.
Here we can observe how close the Jacaranda tree is to the street wall. Aquí podemos observar lo cerca que esta el árbol de jacaranda al muro de la calle.
Partial view of Palm trunk & its proximity to street wall. Vista parcial de la Palma y su cercanía al muro de la calle. 
Another view of Palm and the other endangered smaller trees. Otra vista de la palma y de los arboles medianos, también amenazados.
In a letter addressed to neighbors and friends, we have underlined the critical aspects this community is facing as a result of the increasing construction of high-rise buildings. We are against this building madness mainly because water is scarce; power lines are over saturated, traffic and noise are abominable; but worst of all, in the process of building many trees are being massacred - too many - and especially older trees that are healthy and vigorous. We propose an immediate halt to new high-rise building constructions and a radical review and debate of local construction and environmental laws so that existing trees be respected, as well as stricter requirements for real estate and building contractors regarding trees and natural habitats within the city. We also propose the increasing use of bicycles and the practice of walking instead of using the car for everything. And we don't need a special path for cyclists along important avenues in the neighborhood (just increases traffic), but rather education and good manners to encourage careful driving and respect for everyone, including cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians.

En una carta dirigida a vecinos y amigos, destacamos los aspectos críticos que esta enfrentando la comunidad como resultado de la creciente construcción de torres de departamentos. Estamos en contra de esta exagerada construcción básicamente porque el abasto de agua es escaso y cada vez esta peor; la red de distribución eléctrica esta sobre-saturada, el trafico y ruido en el ambiente ya es insoportable; pero lo peor de todo es que en el proceso de estas construcciones masacran a muchos arboles existentes - demasiados arboles - especialmente a los mas antiguos, que están perfectamente sanos y vigorosos.
Proponemos un cese inmediato de construcciones nuevas de edificios y una revisión y debate radical respecto a las normas y leyes de construcción y de medio ambiente para que se respete a los arboles; así como requisitos mucho mas estrictos para constructores e inmobiliarias respecto a los arboles y los hábitats naturales dentro de la ciudad.
También proponemos el uso creciente de la bicicleta y la practica de caminar en vez de usar el coche para todo. Y no, no necesitamos una vía especial para ciclistas (le llaman "ciclovía"), sino mas bien educación y buenos modales para manejar con cuidado y con respeto para todos, incluyendo ciclistas (de bici y motocicleta), y peatones.

This is the view from above of the wooded area with the majestic palm tree and the Jacaranda (right). Vista desde arriba de todo el arbolado en Pilares 430 con la majestuosa palma y la jacaranda (der).

2 comments:

  1. I hope your efforts to protect some of these trees are successful and I like your dedication to the cause. I also enjoyed seeing your photos of the Harris Hawks and your descriptions of their seemingly unusual behavior. Be sure to let us know if you ever discover what they're really doing.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Ron. I'm still struggling with the tree case. Rumors say we may still have a chance. I still don't quite understand the hawks' recent behavior with the building windows. Could it be some kind of courtship behavior? I've noticed they fly around the building several times, one after the other, as if one were chasing the other. They're funny creatures and not at all predictable, nor set to routines. Let's stay in contact! Thanks

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A Harris hawk family flies above. My first 'urban' kestrel...Familia de Harris sobrevuela. Mi primer cernicalo 'urbano'

Harris hawk family flies above. My first 'urban' kestrel...   A  great surprise in Mexico City sometime before the spring...