Monday, June 17, 2024

‘Innovative’ public park project planned for Mérida

Renán Barrera Concha, mayor of Mérida, Yucatán, announced on Jan. 9 plans to build Tho’, a new public park in the Altabrisa neighborhood.

Mayor Barrera described the project as “innovative” because it would be built in collaboration with the private sector, and with participation of the residents of Mérida. His government will convene broad citizen participation on what they’d like to see in the park. Currently, some of the municipality’s 600 parks are being renovated and redesigned with this model.

To build the park, Barrera and Yucatán’s governor Mauricio Vila Dosal have agreed to a scheme of land exchange  – the City Council would exchange a property in the Maya neighborhood for the 8-hectare (20 acre) property in Altabrisa.

Mérida mayor Renán Barrera presents the Tho’ park project on Jan. 9 (@AyuntaMérida Twitter)

If the project is approved by the city council, it would require an investment of 100 million pesos (US $5 million) and would begin construction in Q3 of 2023.

Governor Vila said he will give all necessary support to Mayor Barrera for the construction of the park, which would be larger than the city’s El Centenario park and zoo, and includes archaeological remains on site that will be protected. 

Barrera emphasized that Tho’ would be a park for all residents, not only for those who live in Altabrisa. However, they chose the site because northwest Mérida has a lower proportion of public green spaces. “We monitor the deficit of public spaces per inhabitant,” explained the mayor. 

The park would be designed as self-sufficient and self-sustaining, meaning that the cost of  maintenance would not be borne by the city. According to Barrera, this is a trend that’s already happening in other parts of the world, but it would be the first such park in Mérida.  The park will have a commercial area to cover maintenance expenses.

Presentation of the Tho’ project to investors is still pending, but according to the Diario de Yucatán newspaper, Barrera trusts that the project will be of interest to investors. 

With reports from Diario de Yucatán and La Jornada Maya

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