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These policy briefs explore innovative approaches in Mexican cities that are addressing the challenges presented by urbanisation and the climate emergency. Focusing on eco-housing in Hermosillo, sustainable cycling in Mexico City and Guadalajara and climate change adaptation in Xalapa, they offer a blueprint for other urban areas in Mexico and around the world.

Mexican cities, in collaboration with the national government, have made great strides in addressing climate challenges. These case studies demonstrate how four Mexican cities have tackled different environmental issues through local and national collaboration.

These publications are part of a series on frontrunning climate actions around the world. The series aims to strengthen the evidence on the economic and social implications of low-carbon, climate-resilient urban development, highlighting the preconditions for the successful design and delivery of urban climate action, as well as outlining national policy recommendations that could enhance the initiatives’ impact.

View all publications in the series so far.

Creating affordable, safe and sustainable housing in cities: Lessons from EcoCasa in Hermosillo, Mexico

With 23% of the global urban population living in informal settlements, cities urgently need to guarantee enough safe, affordable and sustainable housing. The EcoCasa programme in Hermosillo is one of Mexico’s flagship housing programmes. By delivering energy-efficient housing for families with low-incomes, the programme may have saved almost 2 million tonnes (Mt) of CO2 emissions. EcoCasa holds lessons for national governments worldwide who are looking for ways to deliver sustainable and affordable homes while benefitting society, the economy and the environment.

Sustainable mobility for sustainable cities: Lessons from cycling schemes in Mexico City and Guadalajara, Mexico

Rapidly increasing private car ownership is causing mobility challenges in cities across the world including congestion, air pollution and traffic accidents. Reliable, affordable, safe and clean urban mobility is essential for sustainable cities, and public bicycle-sharing schemes provide a potential solution. This brief presents lessons from Mexico City and Guadalajara, where two pioneering urban cycling schemes are redefining mobility.

Additional information on data and methods can be found in the appendix, available to download separately.

Adapting to climate change in mountain cities: Lessons from Xalapa, Mexico

Mountainous areas account for 25% of global landmass and are home to nearly a billion people. However, these areas are particularly vulnerable to climate risks. In 2013, the mountainous city of Xalapa was one of the first places in Latin America to publish a local climate action plan. This brief identifies the factors that helped Xalapa bring transformational change for the benefit of its community. It serves as an inspiration to other mountain cities across Mexico and further afield.

The briefs were created in partnership with the University of Leeds.