World Cities Day China Observance / Shanghai Award

Mexico City, Mexico |  Updated:2023-11-08

Mexico City is the capital of Mexico and one of the largest cities in the world, with an area of 1,494.3 square kilometers and more than 9.2 million residents. It is also Mexico's political, economic and cultural hub.

Mexico City faces a variety of social problems and climate and environmental challenges, including spatial inequality in basic service access, vegetation destruction, air pollution, groundwater overexploitation, flood risk, and heat island effect. Despite these challenges, the city has unique advantages, such as extensive conservation land, high level of biodiversity, and active communities. On this basis, the city government has implemented various strategies and plans to promote sustainable development.

Mexico City's current sustainable development strategy, known as the Mexico City Environmental and Climate Change Program (PACC) 2019-2024, focuses on seven key areas: reforestation, water management, waste reduction, mobility, air quality and clean energy. Two central programs, the Special Program of the Green Infrastructure Network (SPGIN) and the Altépetl Bienestar program, have been created to restore the city's ecological and social-environmental conditions.

The SPGIN is an inter-institutional territorial management instrument that enhances environmental quality and aligns with principles of the New Urban Agenda (NUA). It aims to create interconnected green and blue spaces in urban and rural areas, using natural or nature-based solutions to address urban environmental challenges, adapt to climate change and mitigate risks.

The Altépetl Bienestar program, with an annual investment of over $58.5 million, supports communities and ejidos in ecological preservation and sustainable, non-polluting production to keep biodiversity.

Following the SPGIN strategy, Mexico City has made efforts to promote revegetation and improve biodiversity. It encouraged participation of the public and private sector, which led to the planting of 35.5 million plants across the city between 2019 and 2024.

The Sembrando Parques program rehabilitated 1,500 hectares of land, creating and enhancing 16 priority sites in areas with limited public spaces and green areas. This initiative included sports, recreational and cultural infrastructure to improve personal and community development opportunities.

Mexico City's government-run nurseries exponentially increased annual production, with 70% of the 35.5 million existing plants being native species.

The "Gardens for Life" program offers women opportunities to acquire gardening skills through training to enhance their personal and professional development.

According to SDG 6, Mexico City works with the 100RC initiative to revitalize ecological water systems, reduce disaster risk and protect biodiversity.

Moreover, Mexico City has also adopted sustainable transportation and "Zero Waste" initiatives. It has expanded public transport and built bicycle lanes and modern public transport systems to improve the city's transportation system. The Zero Waste program has reduced the amount of municipal solid waste sent to landfills, allowing the city to make significant progress in environmental sustainability.

Mexico City’s long-term development strategy is in line with the SDGs and the NUA, emphasizing social and environmental equity and focusing on improvement in disadvantaged areas. It embraces the "people-first" spirit, prioritizing residents' right to a healthy environment and building sustainable communities. 

Mexico City is also actively participating in the Global Initiative in collaboration with international organizations to share its practices for sustainable urban development.

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