Panel Paper: Comuniparques: An E.P.I.C. Cross-Border Collaboration

Thursday, July 19, 2018
Building 3, Room 212 (ITAM)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Kristofer Patrón-Soberano1,2 and Philip Combiths2,3, (1)Formerly City of Tijuana, (2)San Diego State University, (3)University of California, San Diego

This paper describes the cross-border effort to implement the Comuniparques program in Tijuana, Mexico. In an innovative partnership, the Sage Project at San Diego State University (SDSU), Universidad de las Californias Internacional (UDCI), Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC), and El Colegio de la Frontera Norte coordinated with the City of Tijuana to rehabilitate neighborhood parks in vulnerable, crime-ridden areas of Tijuana using a multidisciplinary communitarian approach.

The main objectives of this project were to: increase access to green areas; create safe public spaces; establish strong community participation to guarantee the permanence of the program; give local community members access to more sustainable practices through workshops; and redesign the parks utilizing a sustainable approach while tending to the community´s wants and needs. The program was ultimately implemented in three parks out of an original selection of 13. The Comuniparques program ended in late 2016 due to administrative turnover in Tijuana following the election of a new city mayor.

The paper will further describe the specific participation of each institution, emphasizing the special cross-border collaboration between SDSU’s Sage Project and the local participants; the program’s implementation process; the level of community engagement; and results obtained by the end of the program.