Fight for iconic Mexican playground
A unique 50-year old playground in Guadalajara, Mexico is under threat of closure. Playgroundology’s Alex Smith thinks this would be a tragedy, and here describes the campaign to keep it open.
Public playspaces are joyful places. They’re filled with laughter, adventure and the promise of discovery. When these spaces are removed they leave a void. Where there was once breathless wonder, the adult world ushers in a pall of ordinariness.
The pall is at risk of descending on Morelos Park in Guadalajara, Mexico. Fifty years ago, the Mexican architect Fabián Medina Ramos, designed this playscape. Now the local government plans to destroy it. I would rather a
park that gives sanctuary to an elephant, a hippo, a camel, an untamed zone of wild imagination.
Surely these attract a greater quotient of magic than lawns, gardens, or auditoriums could ever hope to do.
Sometimes when spaces like these are threatened, civic-minded individuals mobilize public opinion to try and save them. This social action can be resoundingly successful. San Gabriel, California and L’Haÿ-les-Roses, France are examples of two sculptured playscapes from the same time period that have been saved from the wrecker’s ball.
“What playgrounds have survived without maintenance for 50 years?” – Pablo Mateos
Pablo Mateos an associate professor in social anthropology has taken up the charge. He’s trying to save this children’s playscape in Guadalajara. You can sign the petition at change.org to help save these endangered animals and protect a children’s space that has intrinsic historical and cultural value. Well there seems to have been a coat of paint from time to time. The vibrant colours are in keeping with the imaginative play kids have experienced here for generations.
Help ensure that the kids of Guadalajara can continue to play in this space – drop in on change.org and add your signature to the petition.
First published on Playgroundology, with thanks to Suzanne McDougall for sharing information about this endangered Guadalajara playscape.