Meet the local nonprofit transforming urban wastelands into lush community parks, using a participatory process of design and construction to build green spaces that locals love.
Who Are They?
Fundacion Mi Parque is made up of a team of Architects, Builders, Development Practitioners and Social Workers, united in their passion to support vulnerable communities. In collaboration with locals, they design and create beautiful green parklands, using the power of participation to unite communities and offer new places for them to play, gather and grow.
"Working directly with communities means we can create more durable programs".
"We design each park to fit the unique needs of every community".
Why is their work so important?
A green space inequality exists in Santiago, with 50% of the green public areas situated in just 9 of the wealthiest 52 Burroughs.
In wealthy areas, public funds are spent on parks, but in poorer regions, there is little left for parks after providing public housing.
(Anecdotal, Mi Parque)
57% of people in vulnerable areas don't use public spaces due to security concerns, 71% considering this as a barrier to cohesion.
Explore this Nonprofits amazing work first-hand.
CREATING GREEN SPACES
What do they do?
Mi Parque partner with local and international corporate sponsors to fund the creation of green spaces in vulnerable neighbourhoods. They design parks through a series of collaborative workshops with locals and undertake much of the construction during a community 'build-day fiesta' where the entire community is invited to take part. Parks are then maintained by a volunteer team of community members, supported externally by Mi Parque.
Truly Participatory Development
At the heart of every Mi Parque project is an astonishing commitment to community participation. When designing the park, Mi Parque staff visit communities multiple times over a two month period, refining and perfecting the design with locals before construction begins. The fruit of this labour is an incredible sense of pride and ownership felt by the community once the project is completed. They have no trouble finding local volunteers to maintain the park long into the future. Because locals actively designed and built their new park, they truly see it as their own, and care for it accordingly.
Rebuilding After Chile's Wildfires
In 2017, Mi Parque rallied to support a local community devastated by Chile's worst ever wildfires. The local school had been totally destroyed in the blaze, and whilst classrooms had been quickly rebuilt, the playground was left charred. In response, Mi Parque worked intensely with the community over a 3-month period to undertake one of the largest projects they've ever attempted. Partnering with a local bank as sponsors, they worked with school kids, parents and the broader community to design and build a beautiful new playground, complete with painted mural and an all-important football field.
What do locals think?
Mi Parque Architect
"We design each park to fit the unique needs of every community."
Wildfire affected areas
"It's great that we can come together as a community and support one another."
Mi Parque Social Worker
"Working directly with communities means we can create durable programs"