Mérida’s ‘Nora Quintana Park’ an example of citizen participation

Mérida, Yucatán, (March 17, 2021).- The participatory design of public spaces is one of the most important projects that has been generated in this administration because now the redesign of the parks is carried out through the opinion of users and neighbors, respecting their needs and different characteristics, indicated Mayor Renán Barrera Concha.

During the inauguration of the rehabilitation of the Nora Quintana park, located on Calle 140 (between 61 and 61-B), of that subdivision, the mayor emphasized that the City Council should not carry out works unilaterally, but make the citizens a partner to help in the empowerment of families in the public spaces of the municipality.

“One of the experiences that are learned as the years go by, and this is interaction with the neighbors is that we as authorities cannot decide what to do in a neighborhood or in a park,” he said.

“This program has been successful and today we can see this wonderful result because that is what it is all about, that we can continue to build a “Mérida de Diez”, which is not built by the mayor or the public workers, we all build it together for the benefit of our city ”, the mayor expressed.

For Miriam Chay Magaña, a neighbor of the Nora Quintana subdivision, the rehabilitation of the park means the crystallization of a dream, since for years they have been requesting an intervention.

“I have been living in this direction for about 40 years and the park had never been rehabilitated until now. All the residents who participated agreed, and worked together”, she said.

Another resident, Ermilo Duarte Torres, said that before this intervention the park was unsafe and even caused health problems in children because of the sandbox.

“Now it looks very pretty and my grandchildren are already playing there. What gives me the most peace of mind is that they removed the sandbox and it was replaced by rubber; the sand caused fungi in the children because the animals entered to relieve themselves in that space”, he said.

Florentina Tun Cen indicated that the rehabilitation of the park gives another image to the area.

“We are all very happy because this park changes the face of the subdivision. Finally a mayor listened to us and listened to our request”, she said.

In turn, the director of the Municipal Planning Institute, Edgardo Bolio Arceo, reported that 52 settlers were involved in this neighborhood participation exercise and highlighted the intervention of the girls and boys, who asked that the pavements have multicolored designs in order to give the park more vitality.

3 work meetings were held from November to December 2019 where they reflected their own ideas in their design, he added.

The director of Public Works, David Loría Magdub, explained that $3,798,737.48 pesos were invested in this work from its own fiscal resources.

He added that the 2,840-square-meter space has a plaza, walkways, picnic areas and exercisers, children’s games, facilities for the lighting and internet system, rest benches, family picnic tables, trash cans, bicycle parking, rehabilitation of the multipurpose court, and ramps for people with disabilities.

So far there are 22 parks remodeled or served under the participatory design scheme in which 2 thousand people have participated directly in these projects.



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