After Lithium: Reclamation Strategies for Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
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This project uses interview responses from local, impacted people to explore the future landscape of the Lithium Pilot Plant in Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia, as its development responds to the rise and fall of global lithium demand. As technology changes, so do the materials that support it. Recent research suggests that lithium could become obsolete in the next fifty years despite current trends towards lithium-ion based technology. Such as shift could leave mass quantities of mining remnants and would constitute the next step in a continuous history of Bolivian resource exploitation. This project explores a speculative future scenario where solutions for the gradual transition from current mining practices constructively deal with mining waste and prepare the study area for a post-mining era. Through this exploration, the project deviates from more standard approaches to mined landscape reclamation, which conceive of returning the landscape to its original state. The overarching premise is that, if a reclamation program framework is established, it could permit the territory to transition to alternative, productive uses. Based on several local interviews and my personal evaluations about the future land use and cover classes, I developed a reclamation program for the study area depicted in a 2070 scenario master plan. The proposal establishes a new economy of infrastructure tourism in the region, using agriculture, energy production and celestial movements in a new form of territorial restructuring.