Speeches Shim

Public space is a vital component of a thriving city, yet 38 percent of Salvadoran households reported that they did not have access to public space for recreation and 80 percent felt there are no safe spaces in their community outside of their home.

The creation and maintenance of safe and inclusive public spaces for a broad population base, especially women and children, can transform communities and reduce crime, a key driver of internal displacement and illegal immigration.

Through the Imagina project, USAID partners with The Howard G. Buffett Foundation (HGBF), Fundación Crisálida Internacional (Glasswing International), the private sector, and municipal authorities to refurbish and revitalize Parque Cuscatlán – San Salvador’s Central Park – as a cornerstone of efforts to reclaim San Salvador from gangs and promote social inclusion. Reclaiming and revitalizing the park and surrounding communities are a central part of USAID’s urban strategy to reduce crime and violence.

In addition to USAID’s contribution for the park, The Howard G. Buffett Foundation is providing $10 million for construction of a cultural center, aerial walkways and a visitor’s information center.

Glasswing, a Salvadoran foundation, is in the process of creating a new local entity that will ensure the maintenance and sustainability of the park; engage with vulnerable communities living near the park; promote additional private sector investment in the area; and transform 20 additional public spaces in the greater San Salvador metropolitan area.  Also, USAID economic development activities are working with the private sector and government on the potential designation of the area as a business improvement district to spur investment and job creation.  The Municipality of San Salvador will provide critical park maintenance services.

The area’s population – a mixture of university students, government employees, hospital workers, and residents of Parque Cuscatlán neighborhoods and communities – is expected to benefit from residential and commercial revitalization.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019 - 2:00pm

Last updated: September 03, 2019