Following the Green Parakeet is a research thesis that aims, in the first part, to propose a reflection on the topic of migration. This research was inspired by the question that Holden poses himself in “The Catcher in the Rye” written by J.D. Salinger: “Where do the ducks go in winter when the lake freezes in Central Park?” Furthermore the research was influenced by the observation of the green parakeets in the parks of some Italian cities. The parakeet with its green plumage, is well known for its adaptability. This bird nests and reproduces perfectly within the parks of Italian cities, therefore the meaning “invasive species” or “alien species” seems almost difficult to assign. According to some experts, the green parakeets in the parks of Milan are either off springs of those birds that escaped from aviaries or of the ones that were freed by their owners. Other experts instead argue that the parakeets have arrived to Italy as a consequence of the increasingly favorable climate of the Italian territory. The literary inspiration and the personal observation have allowed a reflection on one of the most fascinating phenomena that involves most of the living beings: migration.
If one starts from the assumption that the world in its entirety migrates then the phenomenon of migration cannot be understood solely as the movement of individuals across a fixed background. For this reason, according to Brett Milligan it is necessary to talk about landscape migrations. The IPCC states that due to climate change, the temperatures of Italian cities will change irreversibly so that Rome will take the place of Tunis, Trieste of Catania and so on. Even cities are preparing to migrate.
When it comes to migration science has always focused its attention on a specific animal species: namely birds. Birds are considered the first indicators of change, as they are susceptible to variations in climate and territory. However from a strictly scientific point of view scientist consider these small changes little appreciable. In fact, although the geographies and, above all, the timing of birds’ migratory routes are in constant variation, for scholars these are still slow and almost imperceptible changes. Similarly to what happens to the migrations of birds, climate change also manifests itself daily in an even slower and more gradual way (ex. the change in the light that stands out on a monument, the capacity of people who live in a public space with increasing temperatures). These variations are nevertheless capable of making their intensity felt and of changing the consistency of places. For this reason, migration can be understood as a cultural phenomenon capable of changing ecosystems and giving a different consistency to space.
Although these changes in the migrations of birds and climate are yet not considered crucial by science, the very consideration of this phenomenon has led to an existential question for the future: What changes will ecosystems undergo if birds modify their routes or the timing of their migrations? Or what would it become of the cities atmospheres and landscapes if the birds stopped crossing the skies?
Migration throughout the Anthropocene era have undergone a strong acceleration due to climatic change and the effects of urbanization, that have gone beyond the earth's crust and reached the atmosphere. In this context, the study of birds has allowed to understand the phenomena in a three-dimensional way because birds orbit at different altitudes. Different layers of control and occupation mark the skies. Due to this reason in the age of the Anthropocene, the concept of the world acquires a new geography.
In a world in constant mutation and development, the study and the understanding of the birds’ migrations are fundamental for a designer. Birds provide important information on the conditions of the ecosystem of a place. This gives the opportunity to understand in advance how species will react to potential disturbances of a habitat and predict where there will be a possible loss in biodiversity.
Milligan, B., ( June 2015) ‘Landscape Migration’ in Places Journal
Daou, D., Pérez-Ramos, P., (2016), ‘New Geographies, Island 08’, Harvard University Graduated School of Design
Metta, A., Berger, J., (2016-2017) Southward. When Rome will have gone to Tunis’, Libria (via @https://www.instagram.com/giuliaprg/?hl=it)