Image by MACIA Estudio
Tamaulipas is a permanent urban installation designed to encourage play between generations.
The derelict garden-like site suffered from a negative perception -driven by the lack of urban lightning and maintenance, drug use, and insecurity- that was pushing neighbours and visitors to avoid the place or be forced to take different longer routes on their way to and from the kindergarten, a primary school and two apartment buildings. The intervention is designed to be a symbol of transformation towards a new use centred around children, by creating opportunities of play on this neighbourhood route. Tamaulipas sets a precedent for fast and effective example of reclaiming space through play centred design.
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Organisation: MACIA Estudio
Partner organisations: Creative Producers International Watershed Cuauhtemoc Borough Council Beneficiary: Local community
Scale of catchment: Neighbourhood
Built environment component: Public space
INTERVENTION DESIGN LEARNINGS
Something as simple as cutting back bushes to a height that allows the passers-by to see through them, can change people’s perception of danger or insecurity.
Visual changes can challenge the inherited negative perceptions of a place. Process: Children and neighbours were invited to participate in the design process of the space.
Implementation learnings: Even when invited to participate some neighbours can be reluctant to be involved and some might also resist change. Sensible engagement should encourage dialog across different ages and family compositions to create a mutual understanding of the needs of other neighbours. Solid commitments by local government are key for the sustainability of the interventions. Aspects like maintenance of green areas becomes key, as the failure to maintain them over time raises back insecurity perceptions.