The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted the search for new ways of community engagement using remote channels and social networks. The electric company is developing projects to design public spaces in Freirina and Maitencillo, in the Atacama Region.
Amid the contingency caused by the coronavirus and with the aim of continuing to advance on the relevant projects for the community, two important pre-designs of participatory squares were approved through online voting, within the framework of the program for the recovery of public spaces promoted by ISA Interchile, Mi Parque Foundation and the Municipality of Freirina.
The initiative, which seeks to improve the quality of life in vulnerable neighborhoods through a participatory process of design, construction, and activation of green areas, bore its first fruits with the pre-design of Las Heras Park and the park located in the Santa Rosa neighborhood in Maitencillo.
The president of the Freirina Centro Neighborhood Association, Sergio Godoy, expressed his satisfaction with the participatory process and explained that everything is being done virtually, where neighbors make their contributions to the initiative. “We are happy and we believe that it is positive to have an alliance between the private sector and the public sector to give greater participation to residents in the design of these projects, especially those that benefit the community, elders, young people, and children.”
For his part, the territorial manager of Mi Parque Foundation, Raymond Álvarez, explained that due to the health crisis facing the country due to COVID-19, a new way of working had to be implemented that would maintain the participatory process through an online methodology. “We have been surprised by the level of response from the neighbors and the depth of it. We feel that this has not only been a way to continue building community, which is our number one challenge, but also to build capacities in the neighbors, and in this case, it would be digital literacy.”
Once the project is formally presented to the community, the construction phase will begin, in which various crews will be deployed in the park to recover green areas with trees, plants, and grass, as well as to install recreational furniture such as children’s games, exercise machines, benches, and lighting, with the aim of making the design of the neighbors a reality.
The initiative, as explained by Gabriel Melguizo, general manager of ISA Interchile, is part of the commitment assumed by the company to go beyond the management of public spaces for the Freirina and Maitencillo communities. “We want to continue to be connected with communities, we firmly believe that sustainable development is built with everyone and common spaces are essential to meet, grow, and continue to build community.”