Topic ID #16708 - posted 2/29/2012 12:59 PM

Mexico City’s urbanization threatens ancient ‘floating gardens’



Jennifer Palmer

Webmaster
Mexico City’s urbanization threatens ancient ‘floating gardens’
By Christopher Mims 29 Feb 2012 11:59 AM

Chinampas, or floating gardens — small artificial islands full of crops, built up on shallow lake beds — once sustained the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, producing multiple harvests every year. They still exist in Mexico City, feeding its rural citizens — for now. As the city continues to expand, a new rail line to the hinterlands is likely to deal the final blow to these gardens, which have been producing tomatoes and zucchini since “long before the Aztecs arrived in the lake-filled valley in the 14th century,” reports Jo Tuckman in the Guardian.

Mexico City’s population explosion in the second half of the 20th century started to threaten the chinampas, and the gardens only exist today because the government banned building on them. Unfortunately, current land holders can’t convince their children to continue to farm the gardens, whose water supply has been contaminated by the city.


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