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Thursday, July 7, 2022

Q&A: Clarifying the status of the park at La Plancha

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La Plancha
A “Central Park” at La Plancha is urged by residents. Photo: File


Several questions have arisen about the proposed park in La Plancha following the press conference held on June 29 by non-profit Gran Parque La Plancha, A.C.  Jack Robinson, the non-profit’s only expat board member, agreed to address these questions below.

What is the “Plan Maestro”?
In response to our request, the state government contracted Mexico’s Autonomous National University (UNAM) last summer to prepare a comprehensive study of the proposed park in La Plancha. This Master Plan draws on experts from UNAM, local researchers from UADY and CINVESTAV, and took the rather unusual step of integrating public comments.

The 200-page document outlines a magnificent “biocultural” park: extensive tree plantings to supply a rapidly growing city with “green lungs” and highlight the Yucatán’s biodiversity and extraordinary herbal traditions; sports and recreational facilities and a network of walking and biking paths to encourage public health and “sustainable transport”; renovation of the railway museum and notable buildings to preserve La Plancha’s heritage and host local businesses, artisans and cultural events.

The result: an iconic and environmentally responsible park to delight families, boost employment and the economy, and transform one of the most neglected neighborhoods in Mérida’s historic center.

Where can I find the Plan Maestro?
You can access the plan in Spanish through our website (granparquelaplancha.org) or Facebook page (granparquelaplancha). The state government will not release an electronic copy, so we can offer only a photocopied version in PDF.

Have parts of La Plancha been sold?
No, not to our knowledge.

Most of the land is owned by the federal government pending transfer to the state.  We organized the June 29 press conference after senior government officials advised us that selling off parts of La Plancha was under serious consideration.

We believe a lively debate over the land is underway inside the government, and that we still have some time to convince Gov. Zapata that selling off any of the site’s roughly 24 hectares (60 acres) would be a terrible loss.

How can I support a public park in La Plancha?
We are preparing a respectful letter to the governor conveying the expat community’s support for a park in La Plancha. More information on the letter and how to add your signature will be available soon in Yucatán Expat Life.

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