“Merida is a magnificent city featuring fantastic buildings, some in good conditions and others totally neglected, and it is such a pity to see that some of the houses in the downtown area are literally falling apart, when the state capital could be named world heritage. Yucatecans need to protect their patrimony,” said Dr. Alma Pineda Almanza, from the University of Guanajuato.
Interviewed in the framework of the Sustainable Historic Centers Seminar: Mobility and Transport, Public Spaces and Commerce, the expert said that it is a shame to see how beautiful houses along Avenida Colón and Paseo de Montejo are totally destroyed.
The specialist explained that although these mansions do not belong to the same historical period, they are all part of a heritage that goes from the 16th to the 19th century (and early Twentieth Century).
“Mérida boasts a significantly important heritage of the twentieth century that has to be recovered because it is very pure and original. Fortunately, it is still there, but it is deteriorating, and we have to do someting about it”, she continued.
In addition, she stressed that it is a very good time to recover those elements because the streets look nice, clean, and well preserved, there is a harmonious and pleasant profile, and hopefully the people of Yucatan will not leave their Historic Center, which is one of the serious problems that other cities in Mexico have regarding their historic downtown areas.
Regarding the idea of closing the transit of vehicles in the Historical Center, Pineda Almanza considered that many cities have turned their downtown area into a pedestrian zone, precisely to preserve its historical monuments, and it is evident that in Mérida, the transit is affecting the urban patrimony.
“This situation requires a study of use, origin-destination, an evaluation of mobiliy and urban transportation. Big passenger buses and cargo trucks should be kept out of the Historic Center, an these must be susbstituted by smaller modern and less polluting vehicles,” stated the expert.
“The Mérida downtown buildings must be used in order to be preserved, that is the first principle. We know that the old henequen haciendas can not be inhabited again, but they have been given a different use, same thing has to be done in Centro. If people leave the Historical Center, it dies. Buildings have to restored and occupied, either with commercial or housing use,” concluded Dr. Alma Pineda.