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Historia y Sociedad

versão impressa ISSN 0121-8417versão On-line ISSN 2357-4720


ZAPATA-HINCAPIE, Oscar-Javier. Report on the Exploration of the Alto de Santa Elena (Medellín, Colombia, 1871). Hist. Soc. [online]. 2022, n.42, pp.223-234.  Epub 25-Fev-2022. ISSN 0121-8417.

During the 19th century the population of Medellín (Colombia) began to grow and inhabit both sides of the Santa Elena stream. Controlling the fury of this tributary in winter times had become a worrying issue for the municipal administration. For this reason, the support of the French engineer Eugenio Lutz was sought, who in 1871 presented to the local government a project to intervene in the high mountains with the purpose of diverting the stream and thus control the avalanches or also called "avenues" that affected the inhabitants of the valley. The following is a transcript of the report delivered by Lutz to the Cabildo (town council), in which the Frenchman reports on the exploration carried out in the upper basin of the creek and the technical and economic proposal to carry out the corrective work. The document is revealing about the recent urban history of Colombia and constitutes a contribution to the environmental history of a city that, in the early twentieth century, suffered serious damage caused by the surrounding nature.

Palavras-chave : environment; environmental engineering; construction engineering; environmental history; urban history; avalanche; natural disaster; hydrology; public works; water supply; water security; resource exploration; Eugenio Lutz; Santa Elena (Medellin); 19th century.

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