From a Junkyard to a Peace Promotion Sports Park: A Transdisciplinary Approach

  • María C. Izquiel
  • Ignacio Cardona
  • Manuel Llorens
  • Martin La Roche
Part of the Peace Psychology Book Series book series (PPBS)


This chapter describes the process of designing and constructing the Mesuca Sports Park in Petare, Caracas, as a way to promote peace through the increase of dialogue and resilience in the community. Venezuelan institutions have partially collapsed and generated a state of violence and chaos that is reflected in high rates of homicide. The country holds one of the highest rates of homicide in the world at 90 per 100,000 Venezuelans. One of the main tools to promote peace was involving the community of Petare in the design of this Sports Park through Participatory Design Workshops (PDWs) with a transdisciplinary approach between mental health providers, urban designers, and sports specialists. The PDWs were the main tool to foster dialogue among the diverse participants involved in designing and constructing the Sports Park. It is suggested that this dialogue was instrumental in reducing violence. The number of homicides in the Mesuca sector before and after the construction is used as an indicator of the effectiveness of this intervention. In addition, qualitative indicators such a one-year ethnographic research project are also used to reflect the impact of this intervention that seeks to activate the resources of the community despite adversity.


Peace promotion Resilience Community psychology Transdisciplinarity Participation Slum Violence Social justice Architecture Venezuela 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • María C. Izquiel
    • 1
  • Ignacio Cardona
    • 2
  • Manuel Llorens
    • 1
  • Martin La Roche
    • 3
  1. 1.Universidad Católica Andrés BelloCaracasVenezuela
  2. 2.Harvard Graduate School of Design and AREPA Architecture Ecology and ParticipationCambridgeUSA
  3. 3.Harvard Medical School at Boston Children’s Hospital at Martha Eliot Health CenterBostonUSA

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