Chapter 2 Trees, Nurseries, and Tree-lined Streets in the Making of Modern Lisbon (1840–1886)

In: Science, Technology and Medicine in the Making of Lisbon (1840–1940)
Ana Duarte Rodrigues
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Green infrastructures such as public gardens, parks and tree lined plantations were an integral part of Lisbon’s modernization in the second half of the nineteenth-century. Within the department of gardens and green grounds created in 1840 following the city council reorganization, a novel group of urban experts such as agronomists and gardeners, together with politicians and engineers, shaped the city’s green infrastructures, including the iconic boulevard-like Avenue of Liberty and the various tree alignments, which marked the expansion of Lisbon towards the north. Conspicuously shaped by French influence, this chapter shows how models, books, techniques, machines, tree species and experts circulated and were appropriated in the plantation of Lisbon’s tree alignments. Behind tree-lined plantations laid not only knowledge about the growth and management of trees, but also about how to connect them with gray infrastructures, and about the need to build nurseries to meet the city’s needs. As such the department of gardens and green grounds acted as a laboratory for the application and development of urban techno-scientific expertise. In a nutshell, alignment plantations materialize a new instance of the co-construction of science and the city, which has so far escaped the gaze of urban history of science.

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