Ecuador’s riches in natural resources far exceed the currently monetized oil reserves or mineral mines, its fields of roses, cocoa or banana plantations or its shrimp farms at the sea. There is value to be leveraged in the amazing wealth of its people and other natural species, and in its cities and other natural ecosystems – specifically, the diverse terrain and climate, indigenous and learned culture and knowledge, creative capacity, commitment to craft and construction, biodiversity that is unmatched in quantity for its size, carbon sequestration value of the existing rainforests and mangroves. We all know that people are nature and our cities are ecosystems, but do we live this way? How can we find ways to acknowledge and utilize these amazing natural riches?
We offer a vision of re_sourcing values to create better functioning of city systems, provide for continued growth and development of these ecosystems and protect opportunities for future development.
Our proposal identifies three values that must be re_sourced. First, the productive capacities of Quito and Guayaquil’s functioning native ecosystems are threatened by development pressure to become oversimplified and generate less value. Secondly, indigenous knowledge of endemic species, valued in the medicament-producing science economy, is essential and a unique national asset – but as populations increasingly move to cities where their traditions and knowledge are not perpetuated, this knowledge may be lost. Finally, water, an existing and potential scarcity, must be considered as it affects productive capacity and development potential.
We created a framework of materials for design insertions and flexible planning guidelines that can be implemented in site-and-user-specific ways; a guideline for informal development that generates maximum benefits for both the inhabitant and the environment.