JARDÍN DE LA MEMORIA Y PARQUE OLIVER IN ZARAGOZA (SPAIN): TWO CASES OF CIVIC PRODUCTION AND MANAGEMENT OF PUBLIC SPACE
Keywords:Arte Público, Zaragoza, Participación
Although these cases present their specific urban and social contexts, they do have characteristics in common. On the one hand they occurred in suburban areas which developed rapidly and chaotically due to intense migration in the sixties and seventies.
This uncontrolled urban growth produced, within a large number of structural problems, a lack of public space in the peripheral areas of the city, including San José and Oliver. Urban sociologists Gaviria and Grilló after a field work done in 1974 stated an outstanding conclusion: In the period from 1940 to 1965 the proportion of public space in Zaragoza related to the population rate (m2/person) was reduced to its half.
On the other hand, in both cases citizens have directly participated in the production as well as in the management of these public spaces, through diverse associations. These were founded firstly to claim amelioration of services, streets,…etc. and they were also important in the process towards democracy during the late times of Franco’s dictatorship. Subsequently the associations worked specifically on the improvement of their neighbourhoods as they do today. In both cases, after a very long time of demanding these public spaces and working together citizens and technicians, their projects were included in PGOUGeneral Urban Development Plan- of 1986 and the spaces were inaugurated in the nineties. Not only Parque Oliver but also Jardín de la Memoria is the result of a wide consensus among different social communities from Oliver and San José neighbourhoods, in design of spaces, uses, symbolical items…etc.
In Jardín de la Memoria public art was part of the early first project, Julio Le Parc was going to produce some work but afterwards local sculptors developed it. Citizens in Parque Oliver through a coordinating comitee are in charge of a great part of the space.
And in both of them neighbours are involved in the care of productive vegetable gardens, this work is specially well carried out by the eldest neighbours, most of whom migrated from rural areas. Another fact common to both public spaces, contrary to most of others in the city, is that they are well respected and preserved. May these cases show a possible model of production and management of public space as they seem to be socially integrative and ecologically sustainable.
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