It is undeniable among residents that the public spaces of the Ingote and Rosa districts need to be improved. But the process would have won if the community had been involved in the project that will transform some of the areas of Planalto do Ingote common use, they understand.
Last week the Coimbra City Council (CMC) signed the € 1 million contract to qualify various areas in the Ingote, Rosa and Ex-IGAPHE (Institute for the Management and Alienation of State Housing Inheritance) districts. “Right now it’s a good step forward to try to change the stigma,” Fernando Monteiro, president of the Bairro da Rosa Residents Association (AMBR), told the PUBLIC of the community’s announcement. However, he replies that the residents were not asked about the design of the project that is being implemented. The same thing happened with the neighboring community. “We were never heard,” says the president of the Bairro do Ingote Neighborhood Association (AMBI), Artur Lopes, of the same process.
The community’s intervention focuses on three areas and aims to “improve the quality of life of the community installed in these community districts,” said the CMC in the statement outlining the start of the work. More trees will be planted, new footpaths will be created, a picnic area and accessible facilities will be created, and the area of the urban gardens will be increased, as foreseen in the Coimbra Urban Development Plan. The main change will be carried out on the central axis of the districts of Rosa in the former IGAPHE Ingote – Cambridge City Street – and in two peripheral areas west of the same street and north of Ingote.
But Artur Lopes, listening to other residents’ complaints and repairs, recalls that there is already a picnic park that has deteriorated and should be repaired. He welcomed the announcement that more trees will be planted, but argued that the neighborhood residents “haven’t been cared for in a decade” and that this should be a priority. However, he adds, “If what I’ve seen on paper really goes forward, it will take a big turn. God wants it “.
The three quarters, built between the 1970s and 1990s, were built to meet the needs of Coimbra accommodation, but their public space is poor. “There is a shortage” of spaces in which residents can meet on the street, says Artur Lopes, “that has always been there”. A few meters away, Bairro da Rosa has the same problem, emphasizes Fernando Monteiro. And he gives the example of weekends when people sit “on a central wall in Rua da Associação” with no great alternatives.
“When the boroughs were built, no thought was given. They built the houses, put the people up and that was it, ”emphasizes the association’s president. “I think I had to be more careful with the camera,” he continues. “There has to be a recreational space where people can meet.” Especially because the whole neighborhood isn’t just about being at home. And he goes even further: “We think that a library and a room are needed in which the community can feel at home.” Such rooms would be important for those who live there, but also for the feeling of the periphery to blur. There he points to the trampoline project and the outdoor cinema initiatives in Ingote, which have already been repeated over several summers, as a positive example. “It is an approach of the plateau to the city,” he emphasizes.