- In Culiacan, Sinaloa, the Early Childhood Friendly Place program (LAPIS, in Spanish), a project by FEMSA Foundation and Fundación Placemaking México
- Mapasin, the Municipal Planning Institute (IMPLAN) of Culiacan, the Department of Mobility of Culiacan, Estrategia Misión Cero, Liga Peatonal, Parques Alegres and the School of Architecture of the Autonomous University of Sinaloa collaborated in the project
- Each year 950,000 children die from injuries and 90% of the cases are due to accidents.
According to the Brazilian Population Magazine, one of the leading public health problems worldwide is child mortality caused by external causes, including road accidents. In the first quarter of 2022, Culiacan registered 630 road accidents, according to the analysis prepared by Mapasin, based on information on road accidents in Culiacan provided by the Executive Secretariat of the State System for Public Security of the State of Sinaloa (SESESP). For this reason, a road intervention was carried out, focused on the Early-Childhood-Friendly Places program by FEMSA Foundation and Fundación Placemaking México.
Located on Boulevard Pedro Anaya, a central avenue near the Jean Piaget Kindergarten and Villa Universidad Park, this pedestrian crossing is a popular site for children and caregivers, making it an important meeting point to make an intervention that helps to prevent accidents.
Thanks to the support of Mapasin, IMPLAN Culiacan, and the Mobility Department of Culiacan, possible risks were identified at this intersection so that, with this intervention, it will be safer to walk for children who go to school in the vicinity of it, as well as those who visit the Park.
According to reports from Mapasin, “In disaster situations, girls and boys are more vulnerable because they have less ability to respond and escape from the impact site and greater difficulty to follow instructions from those who intend to help the victims.”
In response to this problem, this design, based on sustainable urban mobility and road safety with an early childhood perspective, includes two stages: first, planning a day of tactical urban planning together with community volunteers (including children); second, placing permanent road safety elements such as bollards. Vehicular flow speed will be reduced by these actions, enabling road awareness for children and pedestrian caregivers.
With this new addition, the program already has nine Early-Childhood-Friendly Places, through which both foundations have created environments designed for the first years of human development. Children can enjoy experiences adapted to their needs in public spaces by providing greater security.
The inauguration was attended by Elena Gamez (Regional Manager of OXXO) on behalf of the FEMSA Foundation; the Executive Director of Fundación Placemaking México, Guillermo Bernal; Armando Valdez, Director of Mobility of Culiacan; and representatives of the organizations that made these actions possible.
Colors were selected to preserve the place as a convergence space between motorists and pedestrians, according to a symbiosis between regulations and others that are harmonious and early-childhood-friendly. For example, red or yellow colors to mark the buffers, while other pastel tones refer to the fact that children are present in the area.
In this regard, Guillermo Bernal, Executive Director of Fundación Placemaking México, mentioned that: “one of the objectives of LAPIS is to create safer places for early childhood, to generate a new understanding of education, in this case, of roads, which is crucial at an early age. Likewise, we help the most vulnerable groups in solving specific community problems. An Early-Childhood-Friendly Place is for everybody.”
For her part, Eva Fernández Garza, Early Childhood Social Manager at FEMSA Foundation, pointed out that: “At FEMSA Foundation, we know that the future is built today, and we are convinced that investing in early childhood is one of the best ways to build more prosperity, with more justice and equality. When there are more children and families in public spaces, our cities become safer, healthier environments for everyone.”
Workshops were organized to give continuity to the road safety education project, through the perspective of children, who painted with their own hands what they imagined for that intersection in the safest corners of the city.
FEMSA Foundation and Fundación Placemaking promote ten LAPIS projects, and to this date, nine have already been opened; the first at the CENDI Morelos of the Miguel Hidalgo Mayor’s Office in Mexico City; the second in the Children’s Museum of Oaxaca; in Valle de Bravo, the third; a room in Glorieta La Normal in Guadalajara; one more in Huerto Roma Verde in Mexico City; the sixth, Polígono Edison in Monterrey; in Ojo de Agua in Saltillo, Coahuila; in addition to Miramar in Zapopan, Jalisco; with the upcoming inauguration of Tlalpan, Mexico City.
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ABOUT FEMSA FOUNDATION
At the FEMSA Foundation, our mission is to positively impact people and communities through social investment for sustainability. We make a better future for everyone by working in three strategic areas: we promote efficient resource management for sustainable development, we promote the integral development of early childhood, and we promote Latin American art and culture. For more information, visit us at www.fundacionfemsa.org or follow us on Facebook (/FundacionFEMSA) and Twitter (@FundacionFEMSA).
ABOUT FUNDACIÓN PLACEMAKING MÉXICO
It is an international authorized donee with more than eight years of experience in recovering public spaces with and for the community in Mexico and Latin America by providing training, technical assistance, in-kind donations, design, construction, and activation of public spaces. For more information visit www.placemaking.mx or follow us on Facebook (@placemakingMx), Twitter (@placemakingmx) or Instagram (@placemakingmx).
It is a citizen initiative that seeks to improve mobility in Culiacan. Mapasin is a platform for promoting plans, projects, and ideas for our cities that improve living conditions of all inhabitants. We promote a long-term vision to develop mobility in Sinaloa. For more information visit www.mapasin.org or follow us on Facebook, on Instagram at @mapasin_sinaloa, on Twitter at @mapasin_sinaloa, and on Tik Tok at @mapasin_sinaloa.