Artistic Project Seeks to Camouflage Window Grills With Plants to Beautify the City of San José

    Promoted by the Cultural Center of Spain in Costa Rica

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    Dressing the window grills that are in the Tico capital with vines, climbing plants and native species, is the objective of the project “San José City Landscape”, promoted by Ricardo Ramón, director of the Cultural Center of Spain in Costa Rica. Which explains to us what this initiative is about:

    How was San José City Landscape Project born?

    “It was born from the first visit to the city, excited, happy to come to work in a country with a huge reputation for sustainability and respect for the environment; and the disappointment of finding a capital devoid of these incentives and unable to consider itself as the gateway to paradise. Then I saw the documentary “Double key and chain” by Hernán Jiménez where everything is explained wonderfully. I immediately thought that something had to be done”.

    What are you looking for with the initiative?

    “The origin of the grills is a consequence of a general feeling of real or imaginary insecurity very established in San José. This project does not want to reduce the grills, it wants to reduce their visual impact in and out. It is a solution that has three simple characteristics: good, pretty and cheap”.

    “Disguising the grills with climbing plants, preferably indigenous, we maintain and increase the security levels of the houses and add greenery and quality of life to the owners and pedestrians, the whole society benefits. And also nature as the biodiversity of the city, so damaged lately, is being recovered. It is a first step for the assisted and active restoration of the city’s ecology”.

    What benefits do you seek for citizens?

    “The benefits are immediate, as these plants grow very fast. In a short time we will see our streets, which were previously prison courtyards, turned into continuous linear gardens that run throughout the city. Multi-colored summer verandas, with their sharp thorns, will be a good ally for roof safety and also enhance the deterrent effect of razor wires”.
    “It will be like living closer to nature, as if it had come down from the mountains to improve our existence, visual and sound pollution will be reduced, the climate will be better regulated and the pollutants that the city generates will be absorbed, especially by traffic”.

    What stage is it at?

    “We are in the first stage of contact with all civil associations, companies and public institutions that have been working on these issues with success for some time, we are preparing a list and talking to all of them”.

    “This project is collaborative of the whole society, we are also going to ask for the help of international organizations and foundations that have the environmental objective as the axis of their activities”.

    What support do you have?

    “I am lucky to share the space of the Cultural Center with the Technical Office of the Spanish Cooperation in Costa Rica and regional headquarters of our environmental program, so the union of the two cultural and technical offices was natural and complementary to carry out this project in common”.

    What actions follow?

    We have a programmed agenda that begins with a phase of awareness, dissemination and learning, workshops will be given. On April 17th and 18th in Skawak Square, in Escalante, we will meet with various associations and present the project live to the public for the first time”, he concludes.

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