Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum has announced the start of work to rehabilitate an 8.4-kilometer stretch of the National Canal.
Sheinbaum said on Sunday that the 12-kilometer-long canal, which runs through the Mexico City boroughs of Coyoacán, Xochimilco and Iztapalapa, will be designated a special area, protecting it from being urbanized or run through pipes.
“This month, we are declaring it an area of environmental value,” she said. “That means that no one will be able to develop this area, that no one will be able to culvert the canal, and that it will be protected as an open public space, to protect the environment.”
She added that the project will protect the canal’s flora and fauna, and that the area around the canal will be reforested.
The work will start at the Miramontes pumping station in Coyoacán.
The company Consorcio Virgo was awarded a contract for the rehabilitation, an investment of just over 170 million pesos (US $8.7 million) for this year. Similar amounts will be invested in 2020 and 2021.
The project will include improving and building parks around the canal, improving the water quality and pedestrian access, and building flood barriers. Several Mexico City government departments will participate, including the Environment, Tourism and Mobility secretariats.
Sheinbaum said she will invite neighborhood associations to participate in the upkeep of the artificial, pre-Hispanic canal.
The rehabilitation of the canal is part of an initiative by Sheinbaum’s government to rehabilitate public parks.
“We want public parks in Mexico City to be real green spaces, spaces of environmental protection, but also spaces of social coexistence,” said Sheinbaum. “We don’t want malls to become the only spaces of coexistence, spaces that are only associated with consumption.”
Source: Milenio (sp)