I will discuss the relation between the concepts of public space, compact city and urban regeneration and present a study about a central park in downtown Guadalajara where the mayor office proposed a regeneration project for downtown Guadalajara in the context of the building of an Olympic Villa for the Pan-American Games in 2011. The project was defined in the frame of the compact city principles and with the aim of situating the city in the global scenario, taken the example of other well known cities. But the citizens and the neighbors were not properly informed, nor included in the process of decision taking, nor consulted when the project was in the making. They only did it afterward when needed to buy their houses or receive their approval. When the mayor went to present the project as something good for them and for the city through the experts invited with that purpose, the neighbors angrily rejected them and the project. The study was done for defining the problems of the park in the experience of neighbors and users and for consulting them about the architects winner project for rehabilitating the park who asked the study and were open to changes proposed by the neighbors and users. Mapping, participatory observation, conversational, deep and group interviews were done. The results were delivered to the architects and to the neighbors and incorporated in the project. And at the end the neighbors had a meeting with the architects for discussing the project an exchange their ideas. The experience was successful but it didn´t led to influence the decisions taken by the mayor office regarding the regeneration project that then changed completely forced by the crisis. The lack of proper participation as a key factor in any regeneration project and the need of a symmetrical approach where people experience and knowledge is incorporated into the regeneration projects is discussed and the end of the project is described.