Abandoned sewage treatment plants are now becoming a new opportunity for social development for the people of Tlajomulco de Zúñiga, Jalisco.
This week, the mayor of Tlajomulco dedicated one such repurposed plant in the Santa Fe neighborhood. The facility is now known as the Strategic Social Architecture Laboratory, or LabASE.
The new community center, the municipality says, is intended to become an “urban-social space where research and practice will articulate and facilitate the community and the city’s development . . . .”
Mayor Alberto Uribe Camacho stated that the repurposed plant is part of his administration’s plan to rescue the area and bet on the “transformation” of the neighborhoods of Santa Fe, Chulavista and Lomas del Mirador, despite the skepticism of naysayers.
“I believe the transformation can be achieved, and we won’t stop,” he declared.
The recovery of this second plant was an advantageous deal for the municipality: the 2.5 million pesos (US $134,000) invested in its renovation is less than what would have been required to demolish the plant and remove the debris.
Plans to do something with the water treatment plants in Tlajomulco go back to at least 2011. The first one to be transformed was the Multidisciplinary Center, which was dedicated in 2015 and has earned recognition for its successful recovery of public spaces.
The plants, replaced by new systems years ago, were ill-fated since their inception. One was built some 10 meters from residential areas, and immediately became a source of foul odors.
What’s more, neighbors complained that while the plants were in operation the fumes they emitted caused headaches and that at times sewage leaked from them.
Uribe said his social development intervention plan for the neighborhoods of Tlajomulco “is just getting started.”
Source: Milenio (sp)