First International Conference of Young Urban Researchers (FICYUrb)
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Rodrigo Diaz

Ideas for governance and metropolitan coordination based on local level initiatives: the experience in 3 neighborhoods in Mexico City

Rodrigo Diaz
Department of Urban Studies and Planning - MIT

Mariana Arcaya
Department of Urban Studies and Planning - MIT

     Full text: Not available
     Last modified: March 16, 2007
     Presentation date: 06/12/2007 2:30 PM in ISCTE-II C202
     (View Schedule)

A group of 13 Master of City Planning candidates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) participated in an international practicum course offered by the Department of Urban Studies and Planning during the 2006 fall semester. This practicum focused on three communities within Mexico City and included 4 weeks of field work. This course was focused on how increased metropolitan and cross-sectoral coordination can improve transportation, land use decisions, and public security.
Coordinating across three student teams, the class proposed the idea that new strategies for governance and metropolitan coordination should be advanced “from below”. In other words, one approach to large scale problems is to develop small scale projects and strategies which can be replicated in broader and more complex contexts. Working towards metropolitan-level goals through local-level interventions runs counter to the way planning has traditionally been conducted in Mexico City. Work there is generally focused on large scale interventions, with minimal or nonexistent community participation during the design and implementation phases of the planning process.
Students relied on field work to address whether community participation could serve as a basis of planning in the Mexico City context. For one group, this field work took the form of pilot community-level workshops developed in the area of Xochimilco. In these workshops, the community had the opportunity to vision the city of the next 20 years, both in the local and the metropolitan scale, addressing issues like housing, environmental protection, economic development, security, and public transportation.

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