A unique new destination has been created in Parque México’s Lindbergh Forum as part of a multi-year commitment from Lugares Públicos, to revitalize the area and create a new space. “LEA” (Lugar de Encuentro para Amigos) provides options for people to gather, spend time together, and participate in programs and activities. The project continues and expands ongoing efforts for community members to work collaboratively on improving and activating the forum.
This effort is made possible in partnership with Project for Public Spaces and Mexico City-based Lugares Públicos. Over the past 16 months Lugares Públicos has worked closely with community members, testing a wide range of activities, and experimenting with installing a mobile book cart and movable furniture in the Forum. Lessons learned and ideas generated by hosting a series of dynamic workshops and collaborative exercises have continuously informed a long-term plan and vision for the space.
At the heart of this project is the newly installed LEA, a book and game library surrounded by colorful tables, chairs and benches that will create a unique anchor for continued programming at the Lindbergh Forum. “LEA was inspired by the community”, says Guillermo Bernal, Director and Founder of Lugares Públicos. “After spending a lot of time working with community members in the Forum – and observing what activities and physical improvements were successful – we tried to create a design that would make people feel welcome in the park and that could support many different activities at different times of the day.”
“LEA holds hundreds of books and many games - it is operated by a friendly and creative staff person who assists visitors and maintains the facility, but also fosters the community to bring new and different programs to the Forum, like book readings, workshops of all kinds, concerts and film screenings,” comments Guillermo Bernal.
“It also has solar panels to power daily activities, and at night, stored power provides much needed lighting to the space, so that visitors can enjoy night-time activities and feel safe in the Forum.”
In collaboration with Project for Public Spaces, Lugares Públicos has spearheaded the project in Mexico City, through their knowledge of the community and the Placemaking approach, which is rooted in encouraging community participation in creating active and engaging public spaces. “What is so wonderful about this project is the way LEA will continue to expand and support the collaborative work that Lugares Públicos has been doing in the Forum. Not only can visitors enjoy the books and games and programming, but LEA provides an environment where residents can keep contributing to a shared vision for what Parque México and the Forum can be – by providing ideas for activities or volunteering to start a new project themselves,” said Philip Winn, Vice President at Project for Public Spaces.
LEA will eventually be fully managed and supported by the community-based Friends of Lindbergh Forum group. Already several local publishers and book stores have contributed books and magazines to LEA.