Santiago’s Bicentennial Park, inaugurated in 2007 in the commune of Vitacura, launched its second phase of development on Nov. 22 with plans to expand from 18 to 30 hectares.
At a ceremony to mark the beginning of the new phase attended by the mayor of Vitacura, Raúl Torrealba, officials said the project was part of the city’s push for more green spaces.
Santiago has plans to develop a further 3,900 hectares of city areas into public parks, according to a recent report published by the Economist magazine’s respected Economist Intelligence Unit, entitled Latin American Green City Index.
The city is already dotted with large parks perfect for strolling through under the shade of trees, including the Metropolitan Park, the country’s largest at 722 hectares, which encompasses parts of the San Cristóbal hill, a Santiago landmark with its 22 meter statue of the Virgin Mary at the top, swimming pools and the Santiago Zoo.
According to a report in Chilean daily La Tercera, the second-phase upgrade for the Bicentennial Park involves planting around 1,500 more trees and flowers, including oaks and tulips, plus around 9,000 shrubs. A central computer will coordinate watering times to conserve water.
Teodoro Fernández, architect in charge of designing the first and second phase of construction, said in La Tercera that the idea was to integrate elements of the natural landscape into the architectural work in the park.
The museum in the park may focus on astronomy or on Chile’s rich culture and traditions, said the mayor of Vitacura, Raúl Torrealba. «There are two possibilities: an astronomical museum built by the European Organisation for Astronomical Research or one that commemorates Chilean customs and traditions,» he said.
The second phase of the park is planned to open to the public in July 2011.