Redevelopment of the site aims to boost the tourism and socioeconomic potential of the region
Gomes Freire Square, in Mariana, Minas Gerais, is open to visitation after the renovation works and conciliation hearing held on July 13th. Known as the Garden, the space underwent interventions respecting its historical, symbolic and affective value. The city’s postcard now has improvements in accessibility, lighting and landscaping. The works comply with a compensatory measure and are part of the commitments signed by the Renova Foundation to increase the region’s tourism and socioeconomic potential.
There are now nine more benches, totaling 49, and two linear benches in the area near Dom Viçoso Street. Access to the area of the lakes has been cleared and, to ensure the safety of visitors, the street light poles were replaced and another six units were installed, meeting the current lighting standards for public places. In addition, floor lighting and lamps focused on the bandstand, bust and drinking fountain were installed.
Tree species of symbolic value for the population were also planted. Trees diagnosed as unhealthy underwent cleaning, pruning and authorized replacement in order to improve the appearance of the historical heritage. The previous fountain is under the care of the municipal executive power and was replaced by water jets with the approval of the Mariana’s Municipal Office and Iphan.
Popular participation, through public consultations, hearings and visits, was a priority at all stages. The bandstand was painted blue and white, colors chosen in a vote, and the bust of Gomes Freire is now close to the Archbishop of Mariana’s House, freeing up the central part of the square for visitors to socialize.
For Ligia Pereira, coordinator of Institutional Relations in Mariana at the Renova Foundation, the square holds many stories, cultural and historical references of the city. “The place gives life to the city, and the Renova Foundation is grateful for the opportunity to be able to contribute to this public facility that is so important to the city. We hope that, in this period of pandemic, we can safely enjoy this space”, she says.
The interventions carried out were monitored by the National Institute of Historic and Artistic Heritage (Iphan), in compliance with the recommendations from Mariana City Hall. With the space handed over to the city, the Renova Foundation is responsible for maintaining the landscaping for one year. Public safety remains the responsibility of the municipality.
The interventions were completed in December 2020. The activities, started in March 2020, had to be stopped for a period due to the pandemic, and were resumed respecting the safety and isolation procedures for Covid-19. Earlier this year, with the withdrawal of the company responsible for carrying out the works, negotiations for the delivery of the square to the municipality continued to be carried out.