Competition for a Zoo

Type: Competition Location: Tokyo, Japan Team: Pedro Campos Costa, Ivan Teixeira

Man’s first efforts to keep wild animals in captivity date back to prehistoric times. The modern history of zoos is more recent, rising in popularity since the menagerie of 1752 in Vienna.The first mention of the term ‘zoo’ was in 1828 with the London Zoological Gardens. During the last two centuries there has been a big evolution in the thinking of how these structures and organisations work. Zoos are increasingly becoming engaged in education, research and conservation. They aim to maintain healthy animals that behave in a natural way and progressively contribute to the conservation of biological diversity. However, the spatial concept of a garden layout come theme park hasn’t changed much since the first zoological garden. The concentration of so many species in one place is one of the reasons why zoos commonly suffer from space limitations and organisational problems. In 1983 a study by Judith K. Blackshaw for the School of Veterinary Science, University of Queensland asserts “(...) more common now is the philosophy that different zoos should become specialist centres for certain groups of animals.(...)” In urban terms, zoos are big venues, normally located within city centres. They occupy a lot of land but have, at the same time, huge limitations in space. The land around these places has a high value in the market that makes expansion almost impossible. The only way to grow is to go far away from the urban areas in clear promotion of sprawl and urban fragmentation. Our proposal assumes that zoos should be located in urban centres to contribute to the city through dissemination. We identify an opportunity to create new specialised zoos for certain groups of animals. Dissemination can be used to rehabilitate some areas of the city, connecting points, landmarks, venues and promoting engagement with local populations. We propose symbolically to divide the zoo into five principal classes of the Phylum Chordate: birds; amphibian; reptile; fish and mammals. The sub-phylum vertebrate has more than 57,739 species and 30% of them are in danger of extinction. This division also enhances the intention to promote specialised centres, providing more space, adequate infrastructure, equipment and capacity for each animal for further study and protection. The World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Strategy (WZACS) strongly recommends that all zoos and aquariums adopt measures and activities that help sustain natural resources. We propose vertical gardens to collect rain water. Wind and photovoltaic panels are used to passively generate energy and natural cross-ventilation is adopted. We think that the future environmental zoo will be even more engaged in promoting biodiversity. We propose to include less animals, but better conditions for study. Specialised centres can become places for education, science research and conservation.