Urban Development

Mexico has been hit by an unstoppable wave of urban development. The country and in particular the 20.4 million inhabitants of the megalopolis Mexico City, are in dire need of controlled urban development. The Mexican government and the newly formed SEDATU, which is the Ministry for Agricultural, Territorial and Urban Development, are addressing these issues with projects that aim at improving living standards in cities. Sustainability concepts are beginning to be interwoven in the context of urban space and at the same time public policy that redefines public space is being drafted. Finally, the problems associated with uncontrolled urban development have captured the attention of players.

One of the most relevant challenges is intra and interurban mobility. According to the Official Journal of the Federation, Mexicans living in urban areas spend between MX$51-200 daily on transportation costs. The need to integrate transportation infrastructure with urban development was first expressed in Calderón’s National Infrastructure Plan and since then it has not left the public agenda. A lot remains to be done and several factors rank high on the list of priorities, such as increasing formal housing financing schemes, multipurpose infrastructure development, and transit-oriented urban landscape. All of these are geared towards transforming the urban landscape into green, sustainable, and smart cities.

This chapter will focus on the existing challenges related to urban development, and will offer perspectives on potential solutions from leading policy makers, urban planning organizations, architects, and engineers specialized in infrastructural projects which promote healthy social development.


  • A renewed approach to urban planning
  • Shift to transit-oriented urban landscape (mobility)
  • Green and sustainable cities
  • Public space
  • Social infrastructure