The new Parque de la Libertad, on the north side of the historic district, will open at the end of February, Cuenca planning director Pablo Abad said on Monday. “We are completing the planting of the green areas and construction of sidewalks,” he said. “We are also putting finishing touches on the lookout tower which will provide spectacular views of the city.”
The park will occupy the site of the old men’s jail, in the El Vecino neighborhood just north of Av. Heroes de Verdeloma, as well as adjacent property purchased by the city. The park will provide green areas, projected at 80% of the total area, and public meeting facilities, a theater, craft shops, a restaurant, as well as the seven-story observation tower.
“This will be the most impressive and most emblematic park in Cuenca when it’s completed,” says Mayor Marcelo Cabrera. “It will provide badly needed green areas to central Cuenca, as well as tourist and social facilities in a part of town that has been neglected for many years. It’s a facility that we will all be proud of.”
The mayor added: “The park will do for the north side of the historic district what Parque de la Madre did for the south side.”
With a budget of $7 million, the project is the largest financial investment in new parks and public green areas in city history. Beginning next year, the city plans to spend another $8 million to build municipal services buildings adjacent to the park.
Abad says the park is part of the city’s “green belt” which will consist of parks and public green areas. “According to UNESCO, compared to other cities our size, we have a deficit of green space and public spaces in general. Parque de la Libertad is a step to remedy this,” he said.
The park is located on Calle Tarqui at Eugenio Espejo.