Category: Student - Planning
and Analysis - Graduate Level
Project Name: Mitigating
M. Alvarez - Florida
Design Effort & Date of Completion: 8/2011 – 12/2011
Located in the Northeastern region of Dominican Republic,
the Samana peninsula is a tropical refuge that breaks the sun, sea, and sand
stereotype that characterizes most destinations in the Caribbean. Beneath the
mountainous tropical forest that covers the peninsula expands a rich geological
compilation of limestone and marble that shape the irregular terrain.
Consequently, the mining sector has become a regional source of limestone, aggregates,
The need for rapid economic growth has led to an alarming 400 km2
(44% of the region) to be conceded for mining exploration and
exploitation. As a haven for numerous endemic species of flora and fauna it is
critical to implement mitigation and reclamation strategies minimize ecological
and environmental impacts of the mining industry. Mitigating Minescapes introduces
a series of strategies that engage the mining industry as multi-phase process.
The project strategy aims to establish a variety of
proactive program typologies that will guide the mining process and allows the
extraction process to be sensitive to environmental and ecological conditions.
Moreover, the Minescapes become a source of economic activity for members of
adjacent communities, as it establishes industrial tourism venues.
the post-mining phase of these strategies maximizes the use of the land and should
yield productive landscapes such as community farms, bio-remediation fields,
and community managed eco-tourism establishments. As a means to recycle the
reclaimed sites feature unwanted mining machinery and equipment that is allowed
to be overtaken by plantings creating an interesting juxtaposition of industry
Throughout the development of the project a series of
topographic studies where carried out to understand the characteristics and
behavior of the terrain. By doing so, the planning process is more sensitive
and informed, ultimately yielding better mitigation strategies. Moreover, it
allowed to create a deployment matrix that delineates which typology is best
suited for any current or future mining site in Samana.
conceptual models where studied to examine the ongoing metamorphosis of the
land as a result of extraction processes. This study found a common language
between the resurfacing of the terrain in comparison to the natural processes
that mold the regional landscape, a prime example of this would be at el Parque
Nacional de Los Haitises.
Due to the transformative nature of the mining industry it
is critical that landscape architects are an integral part of the planning
process in order to maintain ecological and environmental integrity of any region.
It would be naïve to propose complete preservation of the area and make a case
against the processes that could harm our environment. However, theses are the
same processes that build our homes, schools, and hospitals, therefore it is
preferable to become a part of the process in order to minimize its footprint
and maximize its outcome and benefits.
The Minescapes become economic catalysts for the region, generating employment
opportunities, productive farmlands, and entrepreneurial stages. The
post-mining sites are then embedded into the eco-tourism framework of the
region to supplement existing economic infrastructure.
The project scope focuses on proactive and ongoing mitigation and remediation
strategies that reduce the environmental impact of the mining industry on the
landscape. Guidelines & monitoring for natural resource extraction are
increased resulting in better stewardship of the regional landscape.
Bargman - D.I.R.T. Studio