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Why Public Spaces are the Safest Investment for Secure Cities

Why Public Spaces are the Safest Investment for Secure Cities
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Why Public Spaces are the Safest Investment for Secure Cities, © Rodrigo Tagle
© Rodrigo Tagle

Cortesía de Fundación Mi Parque Cortesía de Fundación Mi Parque Cortesía de Fundación Mi Parque Cortesía de Fundación Mi Parque + 20

Architecture is powerful, and like nuclear energy, it all depends on how it is used. While it can create uninhabitable municipalities, it can also create safer cities that improve quality of life.

In various examples, urban design has provided a response to deteriorated or abandoned public spaces. It has shown that distribution and lighting are essential, but that it is also necessary to consider who will be using the space and how to make it an environment that generates community.

An example of this is the Dr. Antonio Rendic Plaza in Antofagasta, Chile. Below, some words from the architects.

© Carlos Aubert
© Carlos Aubert

This square is part of the section plan Paseo Cerro A Mar, led by the organization Creo Antofagasta. It seeks to create sustainable urban growth for the city of Antofagasta through a master plan.

© Carlos Aubert
© Carlos Aubert

The land presented was obviously deteriorated, it was a vacant space that became an unsafe area that lent itself to bad practices. However, it is located at a strategic point: at the intersection of two important avenues and at the junction of different neighborhoods. In this way, the project became a great opportunity to improve the public space.

© Rodrigo Tagle
© Rodrigo Tagle

After several crowded citizen participation workshops, a design was reached that was in line with the neighborhood's vision. The need for a space centered on a meeting place for multiple activities that allowed for environmental education, sports and recreation, and housing. It would be a platform to accommodate new groups and those already established in the population, including seniors, school communities, skateboarders, karate clubs, music groups, among others.

© Carlos Aubert
© Carlos Aubert
© Carlos Aubert
© Carlos Aubert

The design consists of a multipurpose central esplanade, shaded by a photovoltaic pergola, capable of supplying light to the entire plaza. Being located in the desert, the shade becomes very necessary to be able to inhabit the square during the day and not only during sunrises and sunsets. Different zones are distributed around this nucleus: a skatepark, a children's recreational area, seating areas and viewpoints, pasture area and circulations, all contained by massifs with vegetation and trees.

Cortesía de Fundación Mi Parque
Cortesía de Fundación Mi Parque

As the plaza is located on a slope, for the accesses, two long ramps were proposed that cross the terrain in a transversal manner, thus the stairs were discarded, achieving a more accessible place.

Cortesía de Fundación Mi Parque
Cortesía de Fundación Mi Parque

For green areas, we worked with native species from the northern part of the country for three reasons: low maintenance, ornamental value, and to value the plant heritage of Chile.

Cortesía de Fundación Mi Parque
Cortesía de Fundación Mi Parque

Project: Dr. Antonio Rendic Plaza
Architecture Office: Fundación Mi Parque
Lead Architects: Nicolás Larraín, Rodrigo Tagle
Location: Calle Puerto Natales 5262-5286, Comuna de Antofagasta, Antofagasta, Chile.
Project Year: 2017
Area: 2685 m2
Photographer: Carlos Aubert, Rodrigo Tagle
Other Participants: Creo Antofagasta
Collaborators: Junta de vecinos Corvallis, Antofagasta

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About this author
Cite: Dejtiar, Fabian. "Why Public Spaces are the Safest Investment for Secure Cities" [¿Por qué la arquitectura puede ser la mejor inversión para la seguridad en los espacios públicos? ] 02 Dec 2018. ArchDaily. (Trans. Montano, Zoë) Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/906778/why-public-spaces-are-the-safest-investment-for-secure-cities/> ISSN 0719-8884
© Rodrigo Tagle

为什么营造公共空间是保护城市最稳健的投资?

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