May 27th, 2009
By John DeFore
Green Right Now
Ascending through the dense greenery on the way up Rio de Janeiro’s Corcovado mountain, travelers may be caught off guard by the sight of a Toucan or the call of a far-off monkey, they may marvel at the beauty of a wild orchid, and they’ll almost certainly be struck by the size of it — the sensation of being far from civilization, not smack in the middle of a metropolitan area housing well over 10 million people.
Few visitors, one suspects, would guess that this forest is man-made — a mammoth greenification project, dating back over a hundred years, that serves as an example (albeit an over-sized one) of how governments might set out to combat the side effects that office buildings and sidewalks have on both the ecosystems surrounding them and the humans living within them.