Expanded concrete footprint in city park condemned

A PLAN  to spend  $35.7 million to remodel Parque Omar in San Francisco is being condemned by  environmental groups city planners, area residents, and civil organizations.

They are concerned about the cost  and the impact on the 55­

hectare green space.

Brooke Alfaro, chairman of the board of the Environmental Impact Center, says he cannot   understand how the massive project was approved.

“This is incredulous to me,” he told La Prensa.

He said there are some structures that need to be improved, but increasing the concrete footprint of the park by 12 percent does not make sense. The park is already almost 25 percent covered by concrete.

Urban planner Gerónimo Espitia said that this increase could mean the elimination of 5 hectares of green space in a site that is considered the “lungs” of Panama City.

Other critics have pointed out that the park got a face lift during the Martinelli administration  said that the park should be administered by the city  now that the government has headed out millions with its decentralization program

Presidential Secretary Carlos Duboy defended the project, saying that a lot of the cost is dedicated to installing energy­efficient lighting and a system that allows rainwater to be recycled, among other things.