Babbott-Bryan_Thesis_2022.pdf (12.48 MB)

Connections and Contradictions across Public Parks in Buenos Aires

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posted on 2024-02-02, 20:19 authored by Claire Babbott-BryanClaire Babbott-Bryan

Buenos Aires, Argentina is one of the least green cities in the world, with only 6m2 of green space per person. This statistic falls far below the World Health Organization’s recommended 15m2 and fails to capture the unequal distribution of green space across the city. Neoliberal policies and practices continue to fragment and privatize the green spaces that remain, posing a threat to the public health of human and nonhuman beings in the city. This thesis draws on ethnographic fieldwork collected over a ten-month period to investigate the institution of public green space in Buenos Aires, Argentina with the objective to better understand relationships across public parks and city inhabitants. The study centers the daily lives of park users in four popular public parks to ask questions about community, identity, place-making and resistance. Since the design and implementation of the study sites vary drastically, this paper first grounds each park in its historical and political context before analyzing the qualitative field research performed in the investigation. Drawing on questionnaires, interviews and participant observation, this thesis relies on storytelling, memory and poetry as equally legitimate data sources alongside political ecology and the scientific method. By weaving together a collection of shared moments with park users, it has become clear that the park-person relationship cannot be singularly traced or reconstructed, but rather contains inherent contradiction and multiplicity. This thesis illuminates one small facet of the mystery and dynamism contained in the Buenos Aires parks, holding at once profound connection, conflict, crisis and joy.


Galen Hoskin '87 Family Fund



  • Middlebury College

Department or Program

  • Anthropology


  • Bachelor of Arts

Academic Advisor

Michael Sheridan, Ellen Oxfeld, Marybeth Nevins


  • Open Access