The location of the Iguaçu National Park makes it a great attraction not only for Brazilians, but also for Argentines, Paraguayans and all South American inhabitants. With part of the preservation area inside the Argentine territory, and due to the proximity of the Paraguayan border, it is common for the place to be part of international itineraries that highlight the region’s natural beauty. This explains why out of every two visitors to the park, one lives outside Brazil
. And the flow of people is increasing. In 2019, there were more than 2 million visits to the park, which doubled the 700,000 visits, registered in 1999.
Natureza Urbana coordinated and developed technical studies for the new concession of the place. It will be the first park in Brazil to be the object of a concession, it will have its initial twenty-year contract terminated at the end of 2021 and a new concession is expected to run for the next thirty years. With this long term in mind, we seek to identify the main existing potential, both in relation to natural attractions and in relation to infrastructure that will support visitors, proposing improvements and adaptations. One of the challenges is to find a sustainable model, capable of being compatible with a large audience. An interesting mechanism to balance visitation and preservation is the allocation of 5% of the total collected with tickets, directed to nature protection actions.
The most popular visiting area is the waterfalls, a group of waterfalls known worldwide. Although they are unmissable, there are other points in the park that are worth visiting. It was up to us at Natureza Urbana to propose ways to encourage the public to move through these less frequented spaces, creating or adapting attractions to improve the experience there. We rely on the support of technology tools that help to modernize existing infrastructure and we also encourage the socioeconomic strengthening of the surrounding communities. As a result of a more integrated and sustainable use of the park’s attributes.
Image: photomontage of the project for the Iguaçu National Park