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 City & Time > Vol. 3, No. 2 (2007) open journal systems 

The restoration of Burle Marx gardens in Recife and the vision of paradise of the Florence Charter

Ana Rita Sá Carneiro, CECI and UFPE
Aline de Figueirôa Silva, CECI and UFPE/MDU
Fátima Mafra, CECI and UFPE/MDU

The practice of conserving historic gardens began to be discussed in Recife in 2002 when consideration was given to the restoration of the Euclides da Cunha and Faria Neves gardens. They were designed by Burle Marx in 1935 and 1958, respectively. The proposal for restoration was supported by Burle Marx?s drawings and the principles of the Florence Charter (1981). During the process of restoration, started in 2003, the content of the Florence Charter seemed to correspond to a complete comprehension of garden landscapes and the demands of an urban historic garden located in a metropolitan city. The participation of the residents played an important role in this process. They were of medium to low income level; there was a lack of public spaces with people?s preferences being for sports activities and their knowledge about the history of the city was scant. Nevertheless, their participation was to be a very important point that has guaranteed the management of garden conservation since then. Furthermore, Recife has serious urban problems such as the growth in the number of vehicles and in the density of high-rise buildings in the area surrounding the gardens. These threaten the vegetation which is the principal element in the historic garden becoming a living monument. These problems demonstrated a lack of integrated planning. In sum, many aspects contrast with the silence and contemplativeness of gardens as inspired by the Florence Charter. The Charter explores pleasure and meditation in order to preserve the spirit of the garden. So, there is a visible constraint between conserving a historic garden in most Brazilian cities and the vision of paradise of the historic garden as described in the Florence Charter. These points that arise from this example of restoration practice offer issues to be discussed in order to create new parameters that can give coherent answers to the demands of different cultures.

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City & Time  ISSN: 1807-7544