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 City & Time > Vol. 1, No. 3 (2005) open journal systems 


The floating gardens in Mexico Xochimilco, World Heritage risk site

Saúl Alcántara Onofre, Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana (Mexico)


Abstract
The UNESCO declared Xochimilco a World Heritage Site in 1987, but at present, the nomination is in risk, because the authenticity and integrity values of the chinampa area of Xochimilco are in decrease of agricultural-lacustrine production; the uncontrollable urban spread of Mexico city , 23 millions inhabitants, and the purchase of communal land for house building; disappearance of channels to build bridges and vehicular accesses to cultivation areas; the construction of an urban instead of agricultural infrastructure; the drainage from many houses and green houses is discharged into the channels; between other problems that to allow the chinampas disappear from the valley of Mexico and with their disappearance, our conception of the lacustrine city, which evokes the last living memory of the prehispanic landscape. The chinampas in Mexico City are a highly productive landscape developed around 1265 to increase the available arable land by encroaching on lakes of Chalco and Xochimilco that surrounded Tenochtitlán, Capital of the Aztec Empire. The word ?Chinampa? derives from the Nahuatl (Aztec language) Chinamitl (reed fence) and pan (over the). Chinampas were built in the water in the vicinity of the lake shores by delimitating an area of up to 330 ft by 26 ft with stakes, which were later interwoven with dead reeds, to form an underwater fence, and finally, the enclosed space was filled with alternate layers of rock, aquatic vegetation, natural waste and lake bottom soil. Is recommendable that UNESCO move to Xochimilco on to the World Heritage Risk List.


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City & Time  ISSN: 1807-7544