CNH Tours - Cultural and Natural Heritage Tours Galapagos
Monday September 19, 2011
Prince Charles to provide advice for environmentally sound development in Puerto Ayora
The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment announced on its website this week that it will be providing support in ensuring that the development of lands recently allocated for housing in Puerto Ayora will take place according to the best environmental standards possible. Up to 1,000 residential units are expected to be built over the next few years in the "El Mirador" housing development, located along the main road leading out of town. Along with other conservation organizations, including the Charles Darwin Foundation, the Prince's Foundation will work with local communities to produce an urban architecture code for a development of over 1000 houses at El Mirador, Puerto Ayora. The code sets out information on building codes and energy efficient housing, whilst also considering the overall impacts of construction on the local eco-system and communities within the area.
Water is also scarce, yet most rainwater is left to drain off rooftops onto the ground, and is lost to human use. The water in Puerto Ayora is unsafe to drink, with high E.coli counts (because sewage is simply flushed into holes the ground) and high salinity (because water is pumped from below ground, where it mixes with sea water given the high porosity of the volcanic rock on which Puerto Ayora is built).
So, CNH Tours welcomes this news. There has been some sensationalist reporting about it in the UK press, indicating that the development will double the population of Galapagos. In fact, the development will have no impact on the population. The people are there already, the population is growing through natural growth, and through a well controlled immigration. The land for the "El Mirador" is already slated for development - the issue is, will it be good development, or bad development. The demand for housing in Galapagos is very high, and the Prince's Foundation involvement will only assure that better building standards are applied.
For more informaiton, see the Prince's Foundation page here.
Image from the Prince's Foundation Website