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 City & Time > Vol. 1, No. 2 (2005) open journal systems 

The conservation of historical gardens in a multidisciplinary context: the "Cactário da Madalena", Recife, Brazil

Ana Rita Sá Carneiro, CECI and UFPE
José F. Menezes, CONDEPE
Liana Mesquita

Historical gardens are considered cultural assets that characterize cultural landscapes in which the exercise of human imagination and skills on nature throughout time can be detected. This concept places vegetation as the main element in architectural composition for cultural significance. In Recife, Brazil, potential historical gardens can be found. These are the first gardens by Burle Marx, a famous Brazilian landscape designer. The gardens draw on ecological, artistic and educational principles and are referred to as ?living monuments? according to the Charter of Florence (1981). The Cactário da Madalena (cactus garden in Madalena), later called Euclides da Cunha square and laid out in 1935, is the first original Brazilian public garden with Brazilian plants from the sertão region in Northeast Brazil: the cactos vegetation. The lack of maintenance and management has changed garden landscape design over the last seven decades. The decision to aim for restoration has represented a challenge to Recife managers. It has become a multidisciplinary approach interrelating facets of history, botany, landscape architecture, education, geography, and literature. This paper seeks to show the conservation of historical gardens in a multidisciplinary context as a shared task while discussing the restoration of this Burle Marx garden, which involves the community. It also tries to introduce an awareness-raising process among residents and tourists with respect to the historical, artistic, economic, educational and ecologically significant values of the garden as cultural heritage. The conservation of the garden will be monitored by conservation indicators referring to the surroundings and in particular to the garden.

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City & Time  ISSN: 1807-7544