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Remodeling of Mérida’s Plaza Grande: A Mixed Bag for Residents

- June 10, 2024

The renovation of Mérida’s iconic Plaza Grande is undergoing, bringing significant changes to both its aesthetic and functional appeal. As part of the ambitious project, certain streets will be temporarily closed from April 22nd onwards, raising concerns among residents about the potential impact on their daily lives.

One of the most notable aspects of the renovation is the planned changes to the pedestrian and vehicular circulation. The areas will be leveled, prioritizing pedestrian comfort and safety, which should lead to a reduction in motorized vehicle traffic and create a more pedestrian-friendly environment.

While some residents welcome the improvements, others are worried about the removal of trees, which they believe were healthy. Commercants interviewed expressed concerns that the lack of reforestation planning is a missed opportunity. “Why not plan for reforestation?” asked one merchant. Others pointed out that better irrigation and fertilization would help the remaining plant species thrive.

The majority of removed trees are palms, huanos, and ficus. One resident, Gloria Cano, questioned the decision to leave two particularly dry trees standing. The family behind “Pimpón,” a popular children’s show, echoed similar sentiments: “Let’s wait and see if it was worth it.”

In response to concerns, the government of Yucatán state clarified that the project includes planting 80 new trees and expanding green areas. Currently, the Plaza Grande has 41 trees and diverse vegetation; some sick, dry, or at-risk trees will be replaced. Additionally, plans are underway to plant 150 maculís trees along Calle 60’s tourist corridor.

As Mérida’s residents await the project’s completion, they can’t help but wonder if it will truly benefit the city. While some see the changes as a step forward, others remain skeptical about the potential impact on their daily lives and the environment. The outcome of this ambitious project remains to be seen, leaving many Meridanos with questions about its worthiness.

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