Parque Augusta opens with approval, queue to vaccinate and appeal for conservation

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Parque Augusta – Mayor Bruno Covas was inaugurated this Saturday morning (6) in São Paulo. The first users of the new equipment approved the transformation of the place into a green and public space, but asked for careful and constant maintenance.

The event was also marked by protests against the inclusion of the name of the former mayor (who died last May, victim of cancer) in the park. A group of public servants was present and exhibited posters against the current mayor Ricardo Nunes.

The opening also featured the performance of the band Pequeno Cidadão, Maestro João Carlos Martins and dancer Carlinhos de Jesus. On this first day of operation, users approved Parque Augusta. “It is wonderful. The best thing that could have happened to São Paulo”, said retired Lurdes Marquezzi, 60 years old.

Resident of a building located right in front of the park, Eduardo Neves, 62, celebrated. “There were so many comings and goings. Now, just enjoy. I live opposite. For me it will be fantastic”, he said.

The self-employed Ana Paula Soares da Silva, 37, only hopes that the park will have a constant and efficient conservation. “It is necessary to keep clean, green and everything we are seeing today at the opening,” he said.

This weekend, City Hall installed a vaccination post against Covid-19 within the park itself.

In line to take the second dose, caretaker Emerson Rogério Felicidade, 43, breathed a sigh of relief.

“I work in a building near here. When I found out about the post, I decided to take advantage of it. Today, I can’t walk around, but I’m sure it will be very useful for those who visit the region”, he said.

Parque Augusta – Mayor Bruno Covas will open daily from 5am to 9pm.

The park

With 23 thousand square meters, the new park has a cachodrodromo, bleachers, playground and other equipment for rest, leisure and physical activities. The old woods and the centenary paths, dating back to at least the installation of the Colegio Des Oiseaux in the 1910s, have been preserved.

The main entrance is through the old portal of Rua Caio Prado, which has undergone restoration (but it is also possible to enter through Rua Augusta itself).

The boulevard that would connect the space to Praça Roosevelt (through Rua Gravataí) has not yet left the paper and is now the responsibility of the City Hall. According to a note issued by the municipal administration, “the necessary intersecretariat negotiations were started to begin the preparation of the project”.

The installation of Parque Augusta was determined in the 2002 Master Plan, a recognition that later gained its own law.

The land was used as a parking lot, in addition to housing various activities and was considered for housing and commercial projects. In 2018, the City Hall entered into an agreement with the owner-builders, after more than 20 years of mobilization of residents and surrounding associations.

The costs of Parque Augusta were around R$ 11 million, according to the City Hall, paid by the two construction companies (which had failed to comply with some specific determinations of the location). In return, they both earned credits for raising buildings above the minimum threshold in other areas of the city without the need to pay an additional fee.

The delivery of the works was postponed in 2020 and throughout 2021. Among the reasons mentioned by the City Hall are the covid-19 pandemic and the determination of archaeological prospection at the site, in which 2,493 pieces were found (such as pieces of crockery, for example).

protests

Even before Mayor Ricardo Nunes spoke at the inauguration, a representative of the Park’s Management Board, Ana Claudia Banin, read a manifesto.

“As a popular and democratic space, it is a place (the park) in which no references to political, social, ideological or religious groups should overlap – if that were the case, it would not be popular. That’s why we councilors have received and endorsed several popular manifestations so that Parque Augusta continues to be called only Parque Augusta, because as such it was born and for all of us it is and will always remain Parque Augusta.”

With the adhesion of public servants, who protested against the pension reform, the temperature of the demonstrations rose. Nunes was booed and called a liar.

At the microphone, Nunes said he was on the side of democracy and had blood in his veins. “I’m on the side of those who defend real democracy,” he said. The mayor left without speaking to the press.

The son of former mayor Bruno Covas, Tomás Covas, defended his father’s legacy in relation to the park, saying that he “fought a lot” for the place to be inaugurated. “It won’t be half a dozen dripping cats that will ruin this here,” he said.

Karen Ichiba de Oliveira, ex-wife of Covas, went to the microphone to ask for calm and say that “the park belonged to everyone”. “Why are you doing this?” he asked.

Ana Claudia, from the Management Board, stated that the Board respects the memory and work of Bruno Covas.

“The protest is not a discrediting of the former mayor’s public figure. Our point is to respect the history of the park and everyone who fought for its creation. We demand, at least, a public consultation on the name of the park”, he said.

Reference: CNN Brasil

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