A group of citizens joined to create Rutas Naturbanas, a project to enable 25kms/15 miles for people to bike and walk along the two main rivers of San Jose. The proposal, accepted by government, will begin construction of its first kilometer in 2018 with a private donation. We will work with 6 communities to empower them to regenerate river ecosystems through cleaning and reforestation. The communities will be trained to raise funds to support additional infrastructure in their neighbourhoods.
The Tarcoles basin is the most polluted river in Central America. The two main feeders (Torres and Maria Aguilar rivers) are located in San Jose which are hidden from site and inaccesible. Oversight of ilegal construction and waste dumping is hurting the beautiful river ecosystem. A lack of public space and active transportation networks (bike and pedestrian paths), riverbanks present an opportunity to restore nature, avoid pollution and provide safe and accesible public and mobility space.
Empowering and training communities at the grass-roots level will create consciousness of the importance of the natural environment in their communities, the risks we face through climate change and ways to become more resilient. The community teams will be trained and aided to lead river cleaning efforts, improved waste management and reforestation. Community leaders will become ambassadors to work jointly with the foundation to fundraise for bike and pedestrian infrastructure.
Making public space out of abandoned and residual property setbacks will support access to the general public of urban river ecosystems. This effort will provide sustainable and active transportation networks for people to move safely, allow community environmental surveillance, river cleaning efforts, and tree planting and maintenance. Community appropriation and empowerment will help build a more resilient and reduce transportation carbon footprint. All 25km will be wheelchair accessible.