Cities as a starting point for climate action in Mexico

The CiClim project contributed to CO2 reduction in cities like Morelia.

In Mexico, IKI´s “Climate Protection in the Mexican Urban Policy” (CiClim) project contributed to a CO2 decrease through sustainable urban planning. 

The vision composed of three main axes: urban planning, sustainable urban mobility, and the integration of ecosystem services. In such a way, the project focused on generating evidence and lessons learned based on prototypes and cases of implementation. Hereby, generating good practices and local experiences because of actions in territories until the development of national urban development policies.

Impacts of climate change in Mexico

Mexico is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change due to its geographical characteristics and unfavourable social conditions; and it is at the local level where the population is directly affected by extreme weather events: torrential rains, hurricanes, high temperatures and droughts, which result in flooding, landslides, heat islands and fires, among others. To provide solutions to these challenges, the IKI project worked together with the Secretariat of Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development (SEDATU), the Secretariat Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) and with more than nine locations to promote strategies and programs with an impact on their territory.

Within urban development there are two main aspects: urban planning and urban design. It is on these two main paths where the CiClim project focused its resources on. It aimed to generate spaces for dialogue and the construction of a narrative which proves that cities are the key to climate transformation.

Cities are urgently called to act for the climate change. In the perspective of CiClim, a city is the place where innovative ideas are promoted from the perspective of sustainable urban planning: integration of ecosystem services through green infrastructure; non-motorized and safe mobility and public spaces promoting inclusion of vulnerable groups. Together with its counterparts CICLIM raised awareness of new innovative ways of "making city" in five pilot cities (León, Morelia, Tlaquepaque, Hermosillo and Mérida). 3000 public officials have been trained in „Designing Streets and Green Infrastructure “(2019-2021) and „Introduction to Urban Sustainability“ (2018-2020). 

Implementation of climate change actions

Once the understanding of the concepts of sustainable urban development has been achieved, the cities (counterparts) reduced CO2 emissions, through the construction of more than 50 kilometres of cycle paths (pop up bike lines and permanent infrastructure) and with accessible and safe public space projects in more than 20 municipalities in Mexico (2020-2021). In addition, the CiClim project managed to support federal and local counterparts to strengthen sustainable urban design, such as the Tlaquepaque bike path (2019) that allows rainwater to be captured and infiltrated into the aquifers. 

Sustainable national policies

As a next step lessons learned have been identified to prove the success of the sustainability vision. The counterparts developed instruments, mechanisms, standards, and guidelines in 16 technical publications (2018-2022). Sustainability concepts have been integrated as precondition into planning processes and allow to calculate Mexico's contribution in mitigation and adaptation to climate change (NDC report 2021). A federal Mobility and Road Safety Law has been assessed and finally put into force in May 2022. The Law provides the basis for more efficient, safe, and sustainable modes of transport, from its planning to its implementation.

Conclusion at the end of the project duration

The CiClim project did things differently: Talking about CiClim means talking about commitment and passion for wanting a better country and protect the climate, but above all for working together in a dialogue of understanding and listening amongst counterparts, civil society, communities and the private sector.

With this approach, the project has created good examples that motivate other local governments, international organisations and other actors to take a similar path.

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IKI Brown Bag Lunch

The IKI project CiClim presented its project work at an IKI Brown Bag Lunch.

Here you can find the presentation

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