SAFE USE OF PUBLIC PARKS AND GARDENS
Sindaco di Wayzata (Minneapolis)
Ken Wilkox è il sindaco di Wayzata, una cittadina che fa parte dell’area metropolitana di Minneapolis, una delle città americane modello in materia dotazione e distribuzione di spazi pubblici, parchi e giardini. Ecco come ha risposto alle nostre sei domande:
- We have not closed public parks. We have closed tennis courts and other sports venues where people might congregate. We have erected signage in the parks requiring social distancing and limiting the number of people who can gather. We receive guidance on a weekly basis from the State of Minnesota regarding what can safely be open and what cannot. We do not actively enforce compliance, though we do respond to complaints. Our posture is education, not punishment.
- Regarding children, we have closed the play areas. These are the jungle gyms, slides, swings, etc. We will also not be staffing the beach with life guards this year. We are discussing whether we will open access to the beach even without life guards. No decision yet on that.
- For the most part adults have been cooperative and understanding. The exception has been tennis players, who cannot understand why they can’t use the courts. We locked them, but had at least one instance of the lock being cut. We will likely reopen the courts in the next week or so but with strict guidance.
- The problem for the children is that there is little for them to do and few places to go. That keeps them stuck at home, and that is not healthy long term.
- The only advice I could give is that when closing venues, it is important that it be easily understood what is to be gained, i.e. that it is a logical request and that people can connect the dots that the closure can prevent infection. If it appears to be just a heavy handed, broad based but not well-thought out closure, the residents will push back. For example, the tennis court closures were controversial because players couldn’t connect playing tennis with a higher exposure to the virus. On the other hand, closing jungle gyms made perfect sense. By the way, the tennis closure was a result of State guidance.
- Our safety measures have been taken in consultation with all the City Departments as well as from guidance by the State of Minnesota Dept of Health and the CDC. We also receive guidance from the Hennepin County Emergency Management organization. The City has a virtual (Zoom) meeting MWF mornings with the City Dept heads to discuss the pandemic situation and how the City needs to respond. Our police chief is the City Emergency Management Director and is in close contact with all supporting agencies, state and county, as well as neighboring jurisdictions. He leads the meetings bringing the City department heads up to date with the latest information. They discuss the best approaches to implement prudent City measures.
Ci scrive Ayanda Roji, responsabile dei parchi di Johannesburg, Sud Africa:
We are under complete lockdown, meaning all parks and green spaces are closed. We are planning the same initiative for park managers when the President announces level 3 in the next couple of weeks, which will allow some access to the parks and green spaces. Right now there is no one accessing the spaces.