In a cloud of dust, the golden hour in La Paz, Mexico’s El Manglito neighborhood casts a dusty golden filter illuminating a small park. In stark contrast to it’s surrounding dirt lot and trashed alleyway is a series of DIY communal creations: painted wooden benches, an array of painted tires housing plants, a broken tire swing, and horizontal tree.
It is here that the passion project of Lucia Corral, the founder of Urbanería, stands: a 4-year-old initiative to channel the power of people to improve underutilized public spaces through collective funding and participatory processes that involve the community.
The dynamics of community and public space become more and more apparent as local children occupy the park — one boy enthusiastically jumps to the bench he had help paint. Another climbs a tree and tells his friend to throw him the rope, trying their best to knot the tire swing back together.
Urbanería seeks to become more than a local initiative — it’s a mentality to evolve public space into the personal.