The new mayor of San José wants to reclaim public space:

Diego Miranda is officially the new mayor of San José. Yesterday, he was sworn in at 3 p.m. in La Soledad Square to begin his term in charge of the Costa Rican capital. Miranda marks the end of Johnny Araya’s 30-year mandate.

The new mayor will begin a new political era in San José with great expectations and a desire for change. He was appointed by the Juntos party on February 4 and based his campaign on the fight against corruption.

“People demanded change, and we are committed to making it happen for the betterment of San José. Our campaign and triumph were built on the fight against corruption. It is crucial that the people of San José recognize us as true representatives of the Central Canton. We promise that we will not embezzle money, but that we will give back to the people what has been wrongfully taken from them for far too long,” Miranda said.

His top five priorities include improving safety, improving environmental services, developing or repairing infrastructure, reclaiming public spaces and implementing health care programs for the most vulnerable populations. He also hopes that not only will sidewalks be repaired, but that new boulevards will also be built.

Miranda said he is trying to restore public spaces and promote inclusive recreation with a gender perspective. He plans to plant 45,000 trees on sidewalks across the canton and introduce new taxes that discourage the consumption of single-use plastics.

The newly elected mayor acknowledges that achieving these goals in four years will be a challenge, but he is determined to work hard on them. In addition, he is best placed to negotiate with the other parties that make up the municipal council. Juntos San José has only 3 councilors out of the 11 that make up the city council.

“We offer the people of our canton a realistic political program that reflects on the needs of the majority and whose main guiding principle is to make San José a livable place,” Miranda said.

Undoubtedly, achieving a San José as described in the past – a beautiful, ultra-modern city where people can enjoy themselves, with adequate infrastructure and pedestrian safety – will take a lot of work and collaboration.