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UN-Habitat recognizes Merida’s Participatory Design Program. 

- July 9, 2024

Merida City Hall has fostered a unique synergy between government and citizens. This collaboration aims to enhance public spaces within the municipality, which serve as vital meeting points and contribute to the social fabric. As part of this sustainable mission, the Public Spaces Design Participatory Program was launched in 2018, responding to citizens’ calls for projects that promote space appropriation. 

The program’s success has garnered international recognition, with its inclusion in the catalog of good urban practices for Latin America and the Caribbean, developed by UN-Habitat Spain in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Agenda of Spain (MIVAU) and the University of Navarra. Mayor Ruz Castro emphasized that this achievement is not solely for City Hall but reflects the active participation of all citizens in shaping their public spaces. 

The program recognizes that communities are experts in understanding local needs, while design professionals interpret and transform these insights into high-quality environments. Implemented across 37 parks in Merida, the program has positively impacted over 200,000 residents, with more than 3,000 people actively participating. Notably, it has also received national acclaim, including first place in the “Health and Integral Well-being” category awarded by the National Association of Parks and Recreation of Mexico (ANPR) in 2023. Additionally, it was recognized as one of the best municipal practices in the 2023 Guide to Municipal Performance at the national level by the Evaluation Committee, through the National Institute for Federalism and Municipal Development (INAFED). 

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