Aparados da Serra National Park and Serra Geral National Park
RIO GRANDE DO SUL E SANTA CATARINA – BRASIL
Architecture and protection of an incredible landscape
The Aparados da Serra and Serra Geral National Parks are part of a striking scenario, between extensive cracks and vertical surfaces over 700 meters high, from which numerous waterfalls plummet, ending in rivers of calm water.
Visits to conservation units, however, are still low in view of this vast potential. At the same time, we live in a scenario in which the management of similar locations is increasingly facing different challenges, including the need for greater availability of resources for the conservation, preservation and maintenance of ecosystem services provided by these areas.
The project is part of a feasibility study for the identification and structuring of partnership models with a view to improving the management and conservation of the park’s biodiversity, as well as the generation of social and economic benefits for its surroundings. It aimed at the development and implementation of improvements in infrastructures and visitation activities in the parks, having as one of its premises to increase the tourist flow, as well as the visitor’s time at the attractions, by expanding the diversity of tourist equipment and services offered, to enrich the visitation experience.
Located in the “Caminho dos Cânions”, a tourist region between the states of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul, the main attractions visited in the parks are the Itaimbezinho and Fortaleza canyons, in the National Park (PARNA) Aparados da Serra and PARNA Serra Geral, respectively.
The public use infrastructure in the two conservation units, does not follow the exuberance and relevance of its attractions – being practically non-existent in some places.
They are two distinct parks that intertwine and house locations with particularities and vocations that complement each other.
Eight centers were observed due to their different identities and characteristics, directing a strategic approach that strengthens the tourist potential of each location by composing a visitation reorganization network that includes reform and implementation of support infrastructure and new attractions.
The design of the new interventions considers the natural attributes using solutions and strategies which, in addition to conforming interiors adapted to climatic variations, generate living spaces, and camouflage the buildings in relief, starting from the premise of complete integration with the landscape and minimal interference in the natural and unique scenery of the parks.
The project defines the development of structures to support visits, such as reception, food service, commerce, ticket booths, transportation, spaces for carrying out environmental education activities, camping, decks for bathing in the river. Also, regarding the implementation of infrastructure such as lookouts, suspension bridges, bicycle circuits, among others.
In the main attractions, it was proposed to structure sections of the trails and viewpoints using modular plates that adapt to the topography and form sections of the trail with universal accessibility.
The reorganization of the visitation structure of the parks provides a new portal access which will have a central parking and station of the proposed internal transport system, the use of which will take place mainly on days of high flow of visitation. The adoption of a new transport system in the park is a measure that seeks to reduce the circulation of cars inside the conservation units, reduce the impact of the construction of new parking lots, provide greater control of the visitation dynamics in the parks, in addition to improving accessibility to the various attractions.
This work was carried out within the scope of the “Public-Private Environmental Partnerships” PAPP Project, implemented by ICMBio and the Ministry of the Environment with the financial support of several partners, including the IDB and CAIXA and which, in the context of the management of units of conservation, aims to establish management models based on the formation of institutional arrangements and partnership models capable of expanding visitation processes, an opportunity for socio-productive inclusion and ensuring effective means of conserving the environment and biodiversity.