Loiza, Puerto Rico
Zona de Paz (Peace Zone)
Zona de Paz, or Peace Zones, in Loiza, Puerto Rico, offer play opportunities in previously underused public spaces that lead to four elementary schools.
About the project
The Peace Zones were proposed as places to prevent violence and keep people far from territorial disputes. Building upon local traditions and idiosyncrasies, Zona de Paz takes advantage of bus stops, crosswalks and sidewalks commonly used by families in their daily commute to and from school. Play in the Peace Zones includes: hopscotch and mazes in the shape of Loíza and its barrios; water-stenciled sidewalk designs, percussion instruments made with PVC pipes and other locally available materials and signs that clearly announce entrance into a Peace Zone.
Thanks to the Peace Zones, the integration of school and community has strengthened. When the Jobos' elementary school was identified as a Peace Zone school, it was also selected to close. The School Mothers Council organized the entire school community to protect the school and it now remains open. Teachers and mothers now take care of the Zone, and together they implement improvements and manage new projects for their community.