PlaySpace Foundation was originally set-up to support the construction of playgrounds and public spaces in the Tranquila slum. Project work commenced in 2006 with community participation, through photographic studies, workshops and interviews with residents, including children. Much of the ground work was led the by Harvard University students who were involved in the first part of the project. The Plaza Project for Tranquila was designed and developed by PlaySpace Foundation with local people. These local people also participated in building the plazas. The Municipality of Avellaneda has been key in facilitating this project as part of a broader slum-upgrading plan.
What are we doing?
Today residents enjoy two completed plazas: Plaza Vicente Lopez and Plaza Daniel. There is a third now underway: Plaza Pinzón. The Plaza includes a new playground in addition to a sports gymnasium and an existing neighbourhood church. The completed plazas are dotted with combinations of children’s playgrounds, sports fields and public facilities. The main Vicente Lopez Plaza also displays an elaborate mural: a collaborative community effort and tribute to adolescents who lost their lives through urban violence.
Who benefits and why?
Tranquila is a community of around 7.000 people, where approximately 40% of the population is under fourteen years old. The community currently benefits from a local government led program to build new houses and improve infrastructure provision in the area. The PlaySpace Tranquila project was a welcome extension to this effort, providing better options for children to play and adults to congregate in well design public spaces. Places that were once thought of as ‘forgotten’ or used for informal activities, like waste dumping, are now full of life They provide safe, clean and stimulating publics spaces for children and adults alike. Residents feel proud of the achievement. This project, along with the slum-upgrading initiatives led by the Municipality of Avellaneda, brings hope for a better future for the children of Tranquila.
The project represents a collaborative effort between PlaySpace Foundation, local government and the local community. This project was made possible by the initial academic project ‘Dirty Work’ by Harvard University, coordinated by John Beardsley, Max Rohm and Flavio Janches. Furthermore, the project was conceived as part of a greater slum-upgrading strategy led by the Avellaneda Municipality. First under the ex – Mayor Baldomero Álvarez and coordinated by Gerado López Arrojo and Daniel Felipe Miranda. Today it is supported by current Mayor Jorge Ferraresi. Current project works are being undertaken by planning and public works team Ariel Lambezat and Eduardo Hagopian.