The requalification of Alameda João de Deus, one of the main green spaces in the city of Faro, is “in the final phase”. «Within a month», the work will be completed and the garden «will be returned to the people of Faro, between March and April», guaranteed this Friday, the 28th, the mayor, during a visit to the works.
Rogério Bacalhau spoke to journalists in the middle of Alameda João de Deus, with works still in progress, during a morning of visits to various public works, which have municipal investments, in the municipality of Faro.
Alameda João de Deus, one of the green lungs of the city of Faro, «has not been requalified for decades and there was already a great need here», said the Mayor of Faro.
The mayor stated that “this work aims at just that: a global intervention, in the background, to Jardim da Alameda”, so that “we can return it in better conditions to our citizens”.
The initiative to requalify this space began in 2017/2018, “after much discussion between councilors and services”.
«There was a need to fix the paths, the electrical part and preserve the trees. In short, fixing and maintaining a number of things. Hence the idea of making a global intervention and not just small patches in Jardim da Alameda», explained Rogério Bacalhau.
The project was conceived so that Alameda João de Deus «advances into the future, leaving the memories of the past», said José Brito, landscape architect for the municipality.
Called to review the status of the works, the architect said that the intervention «is being finalized», with only «the completion of some of the paths in the garden, the placement of the pavement in the sports center and in other spaces», as well as «other retouching and corrections in water circulation'.
«Some of the pavements and pedestrian circulation routes have already been improved, the lighting and water circulation systems have been altered and reformulated, and new bathrooms and public service areas have been built».
A geriatric park was also created, «with various equipment and with the capacity to be expanded», as well as an improved playground, with an area for small parties and where parents and children can be.
Part of the garden, next to the Municipal Library of Faro, was also refurbished, giving rise to a small multipurpose space that will «be used by the Library for small events that it wants to hold outdoors», explained José Brito.
The small bathhouse that exists in Jardim da Alameda is also being rehabilitated, and it is planned that it will give way to a cafeteria with a terrace, while the skating rink, which will take the form of a multifunctional platform, is being completed and will be ready next week.
As for the Chalet building, «in need of an intervention», there was the possibility, put forward by Rogério Bacalhau, of still «coming to be rehabilitated» so that it can «receive some small exhibitions».
With regard to the trees and plants that make up the vegetation of the garden, and that were involved in controversy due to the way some trees were pruned, the mayor clarified that the landscape architects tried to keep as much of the vegetation that already existed.
«The trees that were felled did not have stability conditions», with the risk that, with the rotting of some trunks, «there would be trees falling and this could cause accidents». “Trees that were dry” were also cut down, he explained.
José Brito added that “we tried to keep as much of the trees as possible, but there are some that have been mistreated in recent years and that, after some time, will collapse and will have to be felled”.
Therefore, the project aims at replanting and reforestation with a view to the future. «There is a plan: we are planting, for example, some plane trees, so that, in about 10 to 15 years, we can replace those we have in the garden, with these new ones», highlighted the municipal landscape architect.
In order for Alameda João de Deus to have the proper maintenance, because it is, according to Rogério Bacalhau, a “living building”, «we immediately took care to ask for a maintenance plan that we will then put into practice», so that, «in a year, two or three years, there will be no need to make another major intervention».
As for the whole process of the work, awarded to the company Martins Gago & Filhos, Lda., has been «quite complex», stressed Armando Gago, responsible engineer.
“This intervention has been conditioned by the pandemic, with the delay in the delivery of materials, as well as the lack of manpower, due to having sick people with Covid-19, at home”, he explained.
At the end of his visit to the work, the mayor Rogério Bacalhau expressed confidence with the completion of the requalification of the space and concluded by saying that this work "is one of the most desired by the citizens", hoping that "one of these days we will be here to open and return this Jardim da Alameda to the people of Faro».
Photos: Rúben Bento | Sul Informação