1. adj. Said of a piece of land not cultivated or used for grazing.
2. adj. Said of a piece of land that, though the property of individuals, is idle and not cultivated
3. adj. Vain, pointless or groundless.
4. adj. wandering, lost, with no purpose or trade.
Translations of the definitions of the Spanish word “baldio” found in the Real Academia Española
Vacant lots are pieces of land in the city abandoned due to the malfunctioning of urban metabolism. In Buenos Aires, these areas have an array of typologies: obsolete urban spaces; lots containing infrastructure; lots that encompass an entire city block and others that are just stretches within the urban grid. Linear and continuous vacant lots, called “wildlife corridors,” are apt environments for energetic exchange between the different populations of species that inhabit them.
Due to a range of practices, vacant lots are by definition abandoned. Not pleasing to the eye, these lots are depositories of urban waste. When in the city, weeds grow in vacant lots; in the country, uncultivated fields are invaded by brush. These lots are home to a complex combination of exotic and native species that have adapted to a hostile environment; they have no commercial value whatsoever. In some places, vacant lots are turned into improvised playing fields, which gives them new meaning and use.
When a piece of land is abandoned, whether due to a natural or anthropogenic disturbance, a process called succession begins. Primary succession entails the colonization of the land by what are considered pioneering species, that is, species with short lifecycles that adapt to extreme conditions; secondary succession begins when species with needs that can be met by this now-established ecosystem begin to settle in the land. These are often woody species with long lifecycles.
The species of plants identified in Buenos Aires include: stellaria media; cyperus rotundus; commelina erecta; digitaria sanguinalis; brachiaria platyphylla; lolium multiflorum; setaria parviflora; eleusine indica; bowlesia incana; bromus catharticus; conyza bonariensis; paspalum dilatatum; taraxacum officinale; urtica dioica; oxalis articulata; Diplotaxis tenuifolia.
Bulla studio experiments with this new material, the vacant lot, and its possible uses; it reformulates its use for future public spaces, revalorizing and changing the cultural paradigm for that which is deemed worthless or undesirable so that it can be used for building a new urban landscape.
Vacant lots have no commercial value. They do not need to be cultivated or tended. They are, simply, blotches of vegetation that grow as they adapt to specific and extreme conditions. Great potential, hidden beauty.
Bulla creates a new vision that enables the creation of a novel image of the urban landscape, a new, rich and complex materiality. A change of perspective and of generation that allows us to envision better cities in which to live.