New parks initiative to brighten Chile’s urban landscape

 President Sebastián Piñera announces a new project to create or rejuvenate 44 parks across the entire country and promote a healthy and active Chile.

Parks across Chile are to grow, improve and provide more public green space. Photo by Sandra Donoso / Flickr

Last month Chilean president Sebastián Piñera and first lady Cecilia Morel unveiled a new project that will create and improve dozens of public spaces across the country and promote a happier healthier Chile.

As part of the “month of parks” President Piñera announced the “Choose Park Living” initiative that will result in a network of 44 parks spanning the length and breadth of the country. The Chilean of Head of State explained much of the work to create this bold new initiative is already underway.

“Seventeen are in full construction, a further 17 are in the process of recovery and conservation and 10 more are in the process of rejuvenation,” the head of state said.

The latest project is part of President Piñera’s bicentennial legacy initiative that aims to rescue public spaces that contribute to or reflect the country’s history, culture, and identity. In addition to furthering these objectives, the parks will also contribute to a variety of communities, cities, and regions and help to promote an active Chile.

“We are creating a network of 44 parks which is just the beginning, because naturally the goal is to continue to grow with more parks, more green areas, more nature, more life and more joy for Chilean families,” Piñera said.

He also added that as Chile continues to develop, grow, and excel in international business and other areas, it is important to still foster that same development in the people who make up Chile’s diverse society.

“In our country,  in cities where more than 8 of every 10 Chileans live, we have approximately 4 square meters of green space per person on average, while developed countries have more than double this,” President Piñera said. “Therefore we decided that Chile must advance towards development not only in economic terms, but also through parks, nature, family, and healthy living.”

The “Choose Park Living” initiative is funded both through various government ministries such as the Ministry of Housing and Development, and private contributions. Through its efforts, the project also hopes to educate the many communities across Chile about conservation and the importance of preserving the country’s environment and green spaces.

The green program expects to increase the number of parks in the metropolitan region from the current 17 to 22 in the next two years. When completed, Chile will have a total of 44 new and renovated areas, forming a network of parks and adding more than 1,500 hectares of public green space.