Creating an Inclusive Society

Playground aims to connect community members of all abilities in Durango

Creating an Inclusive Society

Parque la Esperanza

Gomez Palacio, Durango, Mexico

On land that was once home to a soap factory, Government of Durango together with Integral Development of the Family (DIF) began a project to turn the space into park land. The park, which is located near one of the main government buildings in downtown Durango, seeks to promote environmental awareness but also incorporate the urban landscape, and improve the quality of life of community members.

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In addition to creating a recreation space for the community to socialize and be active, another goal of the park revitalization was to create an inclusive space to welcome individuals of all abilities.

“We wanted to create space in the community in which people of all ages and abilities can exercise physically and mentally, and develop together,” explained Teresa Álvarez del Castillo, president of DIF.

The three levels of government along with Álvarez del Castillo and DIF came together to bring this park revitalization to fruition. Their goal is to integrate people with disabilities with the rest of the world.

Connecting Children Through Design

The design of Parque la Esperanza offers an inclusive play experience that welcomes children and families of all abilities. The playground design includes an extensive ramping system, many "The concept of inclusive play is new to the state of Durango, and the community is grasping onto the idea.” Luis Hector Minchaca Playground Consultant, JUMBO activity panels to encourage interactive play and playground components that deliver various sensory experiences.

Even more than the inclusive playground design, a bridge was personalized to mimic the famous Baluarte Bridge, the highest cable-stayed bridge in the world. The real bridge connects the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Northern Mexico, while the playground bridge encourages kids of all abilities to connect with each other.

Baluarte Bridge-inspired playground bridge for children of all abilities.

Encouraging Recreation Among All Abilities

Parque la Esperanza opened in December 2013, and the new park is welcoming people of all abilities to interact recreationally. “The playground is helping to create a more inclusive society,” said Álvarez del Castillo. “And the interest in inclusive play is growing among other nearby communities.”