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Workshop with Residents in Saltillo

A group of people stand around a board that shows a spatial design of a public park.
Gabriela de Valle and Carmina Villareal from IMPLAN (right) and Eduardo Santillán from Tec de Monterrey (left) with the residents during the workshop. | Image: MGI

Residents Workshop in Saltillo: User-Centered Urban Planning in Practice

On December 2nd, the local team of the Morgenstadt Global Smart Cities Initiative (MGI) in Saltillo conducted an interactive workshop with the residents. Following the approach of user-centered urban planning, the colleagues of the local project partner IMPLAN and the Municipal Division for Social Development invited neighbors of all ages to participate in the workshop. The goal was to consult with the future users about their needs and wishes for the park to be implemented as a pilot project.

How to engage users in the urban planning process

Including the users and their views in the planning and design process of urban areas is essential to sustainable urban planning. It makes sure that the new infrastructure meets the needs of the users, but also that the users consider the implementation as something of their own which is worth to keep whole and clean. Consulting with the users directly and before the implementation is therefore key for a successful urban transformation strategy.
A girl who lives in the neighborhood adds her answer to the brainstorming board.
A girl who lives in the neighborhood adds her answer to the brainstorming board. | Image: MGI
For this reason, the MGI local team form IMPLAN planned the workshop as an interactive and dynamic session. The residents were handed adhesive notes in different colors according to their age. After the brainstorming methodology they could use these notes to add their ideas and response to these four questions:
  • With whom would you go to the park?
  • What would you do in the park?
  • What would you do to keep the space clean and in a good state?
  • How would you motivate your neighbor to go and enjoy the park?
In the second part, the local team provided a magnetic board with a spatial photography of the implementation area and magnets shaped as plants, streetlights, banks, bicycle and other elements which could go in the park. The participants were invited to place the elements they would like to see included in the park on the board.
Women who participate in the workshop place their desired park elements on the board.
Women who participate in the workshop place their desired park elements on the board. | Image: MGI

Integrating the results in the design

In order to integrate the results of the workshop in the design process, the local team will first count the answers, categorize and prioritize them. In a second step, the obtained ideas will be specified in the design of the park, attempting to address the user needs and to meet the available budget.

About the Pilot Project in Saltillo

The pilot project consists in transforming an unused area prone to flooding between the neighborhood Las Brisas and a highway in the northwest of the city into an example for nature-based solutions in combination with a public park. Thus, the flooding can be contained, and the area will be made available for the use of the local community. Find more information here.
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