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The Pitagoras Secondary School Stair and Garden project transforms a garbage dump into a series of terraces, a stairway, and a broad entry platform leading into the secondary school. It provides access from the school’s central campus to secondary school classrooms. More than 500 parents participated in the construction process. They cleared the garbage dump site, moved enormous amounts of sand and stone and worked with students and craftsmen to construct retaining walls, the stair, and the plaza. In 2013 and 2014, the IUCI team returned to the school to assess the conditions of the project. The stair remains in very good condition and has become the primary means of circulation between the central campus and the secondary school.


The Pitagoras Primary School Park was completed in 2011. Designers from AWB-Seattle and UW faculty and students from multiple disciplines worked with more than 300 community members to design and construct a park at the Pitágoras primary school. The park’s design is a creative synthesis of community member preferences and feedback gathered during four participatory workshops. It includes an outdoor classroom, shaded areas for gathering and recreation and a learning landscape with hundreds of local, ornamental and productive plants. ‘Piedra de laja’ paths, constructed with locally available stone, local skills and local labor, connected the primary school to the school’s central courtyard. Water conserving drip irrigation and sawdust-filled planting pits address the increasingly pressing issue of water scarcity in Lima. Follow up assessments indicated that students and teachers viewed the park as an important ecological learning environment, place of gathering, access route, and beautiful setting that improved mental well-being.


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