The Urban Infrastructure Initiative (UII) worked with the city of Guadalajara in Mexico to develop sustainable infrastructure solutions. They cover several key infrastructure sectors and recognize the integrated nature of these issues.
Guadalajara is Mexico’s second largest city, capital of the State of Jalisco and seat of the Municipality of Guadalajara. The Guadalajara Metropolitan Area includes six adjacent municipalities and has a total population of more than 4.4 million. City officials have a vision to transform the city into a modern, sustainable metropolis that offers a high quality of life.
Local staff from five UII companies: ACCIONA, CEMEX (lead), GDF SUEZ, Schneider Electric and Siemens with expertise across several infrastructure areas worked with city officials over several months in 2012. Initial dialogue identified priorities towards a comprehensive vision to tackle inadequate public transport, the perception that Guadalajara is a violent, insecure city, depopulation of the center, and inadequate waste handling.
These priorities represented four broad themes to be targeted during the collaboration. UII worked in a series of workshops to develop a total of 20 solutions across the four categories. They include:
• Expanding and modernizing the public transport system
• Implementing an integrated traffic management system
• Establishing a citizen participation program – GuadalajaraConvive
• Relocating dwellings in high-risk areas through a program of low-cost housing
• Revitalizing public spaces and urban facilities
• Segregating solid urban waste
UII recognizes that the different challenges cities face require strategies that respond to the interconnections. The team developed proposals using an integrated approach, with a system-wide view from the start. This approach generated cross-cutting solutions which tackle issues that either directly or indirectly contribute to the city’s overall transformation as well as tackling specific topics.
Collaborating with city officials, as well as other stakeholders active in Guadalajara’s urban development, demonstrated the value of incorporating early business input into the city’s thinking. This enabled city representatives to consider a variety of ideas, and to engage with businesses collectively in a broad context – rather than just in relation to specific tenders.
Francisco Ayón López, the mayor of Guadalajara during this project, commented:
“The sustainability of cities cannot be achieved by isolated efforts, but requires the involvement of governments, society and business. Together, we can develop high-impact integrated solutions that generate immediate results for the people.”