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New Initiatives Aim to Slow Spread of Sprawl Across Mexico

Though 78 percent of Mexico’s population is urban, for the past three decades it's been importing a disastrous development pattern from its northern neighbor - urban sprawl. A new set of institutions and policies are aimed at reversing the trend.

"In the past three decades, Mexican cities have followed a '3D' growth pattern – new developments have been Distant, Disperse and Disconnected, resulting in the fragmented and unplanned expansion of urban sprawl," writes Rodrigo Diaz. "According to estimates by the Ministry of Social Development (SEDESOL), the urban population has doubled in the last 30 years while urban land area has expanded six fold. This kind of sprawling urban development turns out to be highly unproductive, deepens inequality, raises pollution levels, and increases greenhouse gas emissions."

The creation of a federal Ministry of Urban, Territorial and Agricultural Development (SEDATU) in 2012 and the completion of a National Development Plan (PND) earlier this year, are among the promising steps being taken to "address the huge economic, social and environmental costs posed by urban sprawl."

Full Story: Making way for urban reform in Mexico

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