Calle 60 outside the Teatro Peón Contreras and UADY’s Centro campus is narrowed to allow for one lane of traffic and more social distancing between pedestrians. Critics complained that the trees, all native species, have no chance of surviving in those pots.

Native trees such as ceiba, hibiscus and flor de Mayo are bringing green to the Centro and making more space for pedestrians to spread out.

Around 2,000 pots will be gradually placed to delimit expanded pedestrian spaces along 36 roads from Calle 66 to the west, 57 to the north, 52 to the east and 67 to the south. Orange traffic cones are acting as place holders for the remaining trees.

Examples of Pachira, Mahogany, Jabín, Chaká, Pich and X’canlol, Chaksikín, Anacahuita, Maculís, Balché, Pasak, Ciricote, African Tulip, Campanita and Flamboyán are being planted in square containers 40 centimeters wide by 60 long and 85 high. Commenters on social media expressed doubt that some of the larger species would survive long in the pots.

State government personnel began placing the pots today to expand the pedestrian space in Historic Center, where officials have tried to discourage crowding during the coronavirus pandemic. Buses have already been rerouted away from the very center of the city.

The first of the pots were placed on Calle 60 between 59 and 57, outside the Teatro Peón Contreras and the UADY campus. Urban Development Director Aref Karam Espósito called it a coordinated effort between Japay, the water utility; and the Institute of Development and Certification of the Physical Educational and Electrical Infrastructure of Yucatán.

Personnel from the Sustainable Development Secretariat also joined workers from the Highway Infrastructure Institute (Incay) to place the trees, he said.

The SDS indicated that there will be a specialized team for tree maintenance while coordinating with businesses and residents in the area to establish a strategy for the adoption, care and monitoring of the trees.

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