Mexico City is home to two of the largest urban parks in the word: Chapultepec and San Juan de Aragon. Both parks offer green space, forested areas and amenities such as playgrounds and skate parks. 

Happy City assessed the Ministry of Environment’s new vision for these major urban parks. We measured how the ministry’s investments in new infrastructure, landscaping and social programming impacted social wellbeing elements such as equity, safety, social trust and belonging. We used wellbeing surveys, workshops, path analyses, social experiments and digital technologies to conduct in-depth research of key social zones in the parks.

Happy City harnessed an inclusive engagement approach to this project. We trained dozens of volunteers to conduct behavioural observation and wellbeing intercepts surveys. We also collaborated with park users with diverse mobility and visual needs to analyze the accessibility of the park and its paths.

Our process culminated in a report and recommendations on social infrastructure investments to boost wellbeing in Mexico City’s major parks. Our analysis identified low-cost and replicable interventions that offer strong, positive wellbeing benefits for park users. Ultimately, our work revealed that today, residents experience a deeper sense of belonging, freedom and ease in both Chapultepec and San Juan de Aragon. The interventions also led to increased feelings of safety for women.