Concamin selected 13 cities in which the principle of sustainability and planning could be incorporated to turn them into “smart cities”
The Mexican Confederation of Industrial Chambers (Concamin) has identified potential in thirteen cities of the country to implement a model of “smart cities”.
Concamin has selected Aguascalientes, Cuernavaca, León and Pachuca (in the center), Coatzacoalcos, Chetumal, Mérida, Oaxaca, Salina Cruz and Tuxtla Gutiérrez (in the southeast), Xalapa (in the east), Morelia (in the west) and Mexicali (in the north)
“The main objective is to incorporate the principle of sustainability in the planning of the city, but with a concept of ‘smart city’ or smart city as the roadmap”, explains Efe Marco Gutiérrez, president of the Smart Cities Commission of Concamin.
Mexico has more than 2,400 municipalities, but only 73 Mexican cities generate 87% of GDP, host 64% of the population and concentrate 89% of investment, according to the latest Urban Competitiveness Index (ICU) of the Mexican Institute of Competitiveness (IMCO).
The IMCO found that the Valley of Mexico, in the country’s capital, and Monterrey, in the north, are the only cities evaluated with a high level of competitiveness.
Gutiérrez highlighted the potential of Mexican cities by citing the recognition of the Financial Times that this week ranked Mexico City as the first Latin American City of the Future 2021/22.
“Mexico City has an advanced level, but it is the capital, we need to permeate this policy of incorporating technology in public services to cities and smaller municipalities, from 500,000 to 1 million inhabitants,” said the representative of Concamin.
The businessman explained that they selected the cities that will receive support from the industry based on three criteria: population (which have half a million to 1 million inhabitants), economy and governance, and their strategic location.
Therefore, he clarified that Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara, the three largest metropolises in the country, require different advice because of their unique administrative challenges.
Concamin will offer “a collection of solutions” to the cities after a diagnosis of 80 indicators, but it will be the municipalities that prepare the projects.
“Smart cities” are an emerging concept that speaks of the digitalization of cities to improve all kinds of processes, such as mobility, transport, crime detection and improvement of basic services.
“The industry becomes more competitive and that is what hangs, of course, that there is a better quality of life,” Gutiérrez said.
The private sector leader identified challenges such as fiscal policy and access to federal funds so that municipalities have more resources for their own projects.
Gutiérrez considered urban development key for Mexico to reactivate after the historic contraction of 8.2% of GDP in 2020.
“The traditional way, of waiting for large projects to cascade, is going to take 30 or 40 years, and we really need to reactivate municipalities or cities faster,” he concluded.