The Sensory Eco-Park has a 75- square--meter surface and consists of a roofed games room, a library, bathrooms for boys and girls, a “green living” ceiling and a covered outdoor terrace connected to the rest of the space by stairs and slides taking advantage of the natural level differences of the area. This infrastructure is intended for children to use and enjoy and seeks to provide sensory experiences, develop their perception capacities and permitting them to learn about their surrounding and the environment. It is also a great space to wake up perceptions and offer new experiences to people with disabilities.
The project was conceived together with the Eco-branch nitiative, prioritizing children as the ideal target audience. It was built in the 2019-2020 period. In March 2021, this space will be inaugurated and subsequently made available to the community.
Cerro Obligado is a neighborhood facing the Coronel Bay and close to the Lo Rojas fishing cove. Its community is made up of about 1,600 families who, for decades, have lived in this area. It was launched as a precarious and poor settlement, which was built up gradually according to the growth of the community and , for a long time, it was self-managed by its inhabitants. Eventually, state institutions took charge of building the necessary sewage systems, pavements, public lighting, and providing drinking water connections.
In the early part of the 20th century, the income sources of the residents were linked to artisanal fishing and coal mining. Today, it is a socially vulnerable neighborhood, consisting mainly of houses and small businesses. The Sensory Eco-Park emerged in response to the needs of the community to have a space that could be used by children and young people.
The Eco-Park was built in 2019 with the participation of 4 local female workers who participated in the bio-construction tasks. At the end of 2020, and despite the difficulties imposed by the Covid 19 health contingency, the construction of this community infrastructure was concluded, and the place is now ready to be used by the community. It was built to high constructive standards and with sustainability solutions far superior to other places in the municipality of Coronel showing how it is possible to make sustainable cities and communities whole at the same time preserving their cultural and territorial relevance. The park will be opened in March 2021 and, subsequently, handed over to the community for its full use.
For Enel, this project is really valuable as it emerged from the construction of a permanent relationship with the community, based on dialogue and value creation and it also promotes the development of the locality. The participatory achievement, the design and implementation of the eco-venue construction project and the sensory Eco-Park consolidated a relationship of collaboration and trust between the Company and the Cerro Obligado neighbors.
From the point of view of circular economy and energy efficiency, the eco-park design follows a passive design principle, which seeks to provide a maximum amount of thermal solar gain, good cross ventilation, and distribution of the internal plan according to the orientation of the building. These strategies, together with low-impact, high-efficiency construction solutions, reduce the maintenance costs of the building in its operational stage. It also leads to reduced heating requirements in winter also avoiding the use of air conditioning in summer, less use of artificial lighting by taking advantage of light coming naturally into the bulding , and lower water consumption in the use of artifacts, leading to lower operating costs.
The training of the Cerro Obligado neighbors in the trade of bio-builders and eco-carpenters, as well as the participation of women in the construction and manufacture of the furniture for the interiors, were extremely important in designing and implementing this project, also guaranteeing access to new labor opportunities for women and applying gender equity criteria.
From the point of view of Value 500, the Eco-Park has all the necessary adaptations to receive people with physical disabilities which is in line with the universal accessibility law. This can be seen in the access ramp, distribution plans of the bathrooms and corridors, the width of the doorframes and the existence of railings, all built to the highest standards of universal accessibility.
This project is linked to the "Economic development with local identity and green jobs" line of work. This project prioritized local employment and training for workers who contributed to the initiative during their own training process. Furthermore, Enel managed to establish a commercial relationship with 20 local small and medium-sized enterprises that provided various services during the construction stage.