Parque Urraca the old lady of Bella Vista and one of Panama City’s longest lasting green spaces is heading for a $2.1 million facelift but some oppose her revitalization.
According to the specifications which were published by the Mayor’s Office, the work will include the construction of a pavilion and a dog park, and improvements to the sports facilities, lights and sidewalks.
Director of Urban Planning Manuel Trute said that the project aims to give a new face to the public space.
While four companies have expressed an interest in the project others companies have criticized the bidding requirements, which mandate that applicants have performed works in excess of $50 million.
They say this discriminates against smaller contractors.
Trute said that the requirement will be reconsidered.
The government is currently working on drainage issues at the park, which are not part of the project.
José Batista, president of the Panamanian Society of Engineers and Architects, said that any investment in a public space is “laudable,” but said that in the specific case of Urracá park, the authorities must adapt storm drains to prevent futureflooding
Maria Chavez, president of the Citizen Urban Network suggested the mayor’s office re-evaluate the use of its resources as she believes that there are other “priorities in the district capital.”
“The park does not need a millionaire change. There are other issues, such as infrastructure planning and zoning in the 23 districts of the capital which must be addressed with the highest priority, ” she said.