The Green Line: Social Development Comprehensive Plan (La Línea Verde)

(Aguascalientes, Mexico, 2010-    )

 

 

Background Information

The aim of the Linea Verde Project is to provide public spaces of quality that contribute to enhance the community life of more than 300 thousand inhabitants of the poorest areas in the city. This project seeks to be a social platform where people could find a place to improve their health, leisure activities, and physical activation by promoting the eradication of domestic violence, the reduction of drug addictions, providing training for jobs, culture and arts, human rights, the empowering of people for self-community management, among others. Our vision is to insert an urban landmark of 12 kilometres long of infrastructure leading to the improvement of the quality of life of the most deprived residents in the city. 

 

Goals of the Initiative

Main goal:

To establish a social and urban mechanism leading to the reconstruction of the social fabric of the poorest of the poor in the city by providing a sustainable environment and financially viable project.

Aims:

1. To contribute to the governance of the poorest area in the city,

2. To promote the appropriation of the public space for enhancing the social fabric among the residents of this area.

3. To achieve a sustainable and financially viable project in the long term,

4. To enhance the self-community management among residents to guarantee the continuity of the project based on a feasible working agenda in the project.

5. To improve the health of people thorough physical activation on proper public spaces provided.

 

Parties and Partners to the Initiative and Resources Used for Implementation

Public: the Municipal Government of Aguascalientes as the project leader; the Federal Government throughout their ministries by funding parts of the project; the State Government by donating some plots along the Linea Verde to the Municipal Government.

Private: different companies helping to fund small aspects of the project

 

The resources used for implementing the initiative include:

The Linea Verde is mainly funded by municipal funds and programmes directed towards the most in need in the city. Here, the agencies working in the social agenda invest on the programme which is coordinated by the Municipal Planning Institute. Also, federal agencies contribute funding parts of the project, especially areas assigned for sports and recreation, including boxing gyms, skate grounds, running pathways, and so on. For this year, total investment reaches 500 million Mexican Pesos –or more than 38 million US dollars.

 

Innovation for the Initiative

The initiative is revolutionary in different aspects: first, it incorporated restricted areas along 12 kilometres due to an existing gas pipeline which was confined to incorporate it into the project. This is the first time in Mexico that the national oil company (PEMEX) allows any organisation to build something on their restricted areas. Second, it is revolutionary in Mexico in implementing pocket parks in such a long perimeter in a way to provide similar quality to each segment of the project in terms of the facilities provided. Third, a water pipeline was built along the project that uses treated water from nearby treatment water plants; this way, in a city with tremendous water problems, to maintain such a large area will be a low -cost task as this is distributed by gravity along the project.

As a comprehensive project, the innovation reaches different aspects from planning, urban, social, environmental, cultural, and leisure among others. Due to an intensive participation of public organisations, the impact of this innovation is not limited to one aspect but relates to the way people live in their neighbourhood and how they relate to each other in a more community-driven approach.

The Linea Verde was inspired from other similar initiatives in South America, particularly in Colombia and Brazil. As a matter of fact, the Mayorees Martinez visited these countries and has several meetings with officials running their projects. Nevertheless, Linea Verde is much larger than their similar projects in these countries and it is expected to be replicated in other cities in Mexico. In fact, some local governments have already visited Aguascalientes with whom we have shared our experienced about this project.

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