RSS Entries ATOM Entries

Posts Tagged ‘Mexico City’

Risk maps facilitate innovative water solutions

Posted in Models by Jessica Bird on January 17th, 2013

Source: Circle of Blue via AWA

Aquaduct's mexico_water_risk_map
Image from Aquaduct.

From ‘Entrepreneurs in Mexico City Turn Water Risk into Opportunity‘ by Paul Reig.

Mexico City, the biggest metropolis in the Western hemisphere, faces significant water shortages, leaving many domestic, agricultural, and industrial users exposed to severe water-related risks. The city was built on the foundations of the Aztec capital, on the bed of Lake Texcoco. Today, centuries later, its groundwater supplies are rapidly diminishing, and it relies on a network of reservoirs and decaying infrastructure to pump in water from hundreds of miles away. Furthermore, urban growth and climate change are pushing Mexico City’s water supply to the edge. Reservoirs were dangerously low during the 2009 drought, leading the government to cut off water in some areas of the city.

While the situation in Mexico City is undeniably alarming, these risks can also create new opportunities for businesses to prosper by delivering innovative solutions to water scarcity. In 2012, four entrepreneurs in Mexico City founded Sistemas de Captación de Agua Pluvial® (SCAP®), a company providing rainwater harvesting solutions. Harvesting rainwater and storing it for later use is an increasingly popular solution to unpredictable and limited water supplies. From a backyard rain barrel for lawn watering to the massive network of rainwater storage tanks that China’s Gansu province uses to provide drinking water to 1.3 million people, rainwater harvesting is being used in a wide range of scales and geographies.

SCAP helps its clients in Mexico overcome unreliable and limited water supply by designing and installing efficient, affordable rainwater collectors. SCAP has already completed a project in Colonia Florida and is planning additional installations in El Pedregal and Mixcoac. By collecting rainwater, SCAP clients can cut back on the cost of water and store freshwater for times of shortages. To better understand water-related risks in Mexico City and how they compare to the rest of the country, SCAP used a preview version of Aqueduct’s forthcoming improved global water risk maps. Aqueduct’s granular and comprehensive maps of water scarcity, supply variability, and groundwater stress (among other indicators) helped SCAP target and inform clients in central Mexico on areas most in need of solutions. Having this up-to-date data in a widely accessible format allowed SCAP to turn water risk into business opportunities—in turn, helping Mexico’s citizens meet their water needs. […]

>>> You can read the full article on the website.
>>> You can learn more about the Aquaduct project and water maps on the World Resources Institute website.

Urban Cultivators in Romita: Sembradores Urbanos

Posted in Models, Movements by Kate Archdeacon on November 25th, 2010

Sustainable Cities Net: Posting from the UCLG Congress in Mexico City 18-25 November

All photos: K. Archdeacon 23-11-10

From Appropedia:

Sembradores Urbanos is a nonprofit urban agriculture demonstration center and outreach group in Mexico City started by three women living in Mexico. There vision is to transform urban soil into green, productive, and sustainable spaces. They opened the The Center for Urban Agriculture Romita, one of the first urban agricultural community spaces in Mexico. The center demonstrates a variety of urban agriculture and organic gardening techniques as well as serving as a space for workshops and courses. Sembradores Urbanos helps give talks at schools and businesses, puts on community movie nights, and helped start the Barter Exchange Merkado de Trueke in Plaza Romita. They also help install gardens in homes and apartments, hospitals, and juvenile detention centers with local volunteers.”

VEIL colleague Dianne Moy made sure I knew about Sembradores Urbanos before I came to Mexico City, so I visited the site yesterday afternoon.  More than three years after the launch, the demonstration projects have increased in diversity, always following a simple, effective approach – making it, naming it and illustrating it – which is lucky because my Spanish is non-existent.  This tiny corner of Romita is hidden away in a typically dense neighbourhood, so the gardeners here struggle with the same issues many city-dwellers face – small spaces, limited sunlight, polluted rainfall and nowhere for deliveries of compost or other bulk supplies.

The main website is in Spanish, but the Appropedia article on the project has links to most of the gardening techniques and planting information – both sites are well worth a look.

(I noticed a jar of seed-bombs on the shelf there – will have to keep an eye out for guerilla gardens around the city.)

Mexico City Pact: Cities Addressing Climate Change

Posted in Events, Movements by Kate Archdeacon on November 23rd, 2010

Sustainable Cities Net: Posting from the UCLG Congress in Mexico City 18-25 November

Article via ICLEI:

Mayors from around the world have signed an agreement to address climate change at the World Mayors Summit on Climate, hosted by the Government of Mexico City and Marcelo Ebrard, mayor of Mexico City and chair of the World Mayors Council on Climate Change. During the summit, representatives from 135 global cities signed the Mexico City Pact, which establishes a monitoring and verification mechanism for cities to address climate change. The Mexico City Pact will be presented to the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) when it meets later this month in Cancun, Mexico.

“With more than half the world’s population today living in cities for the first time in human history, mayors and urban leaders are on the frontline of the planet’s fight against a changing climate. Today, the cities meeting here are taking action to reduce harmful greenhouse emissions through their commitment to the Mexico City Pact,” said Marcelo Ebrard.

In partnership with United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, and the World Mayors Council on Climate Change (WMCCC), the Government of Mexico City organized the summit to provide a forum for the signing of an agreement that commits cities to action and urges national governments to advance a binding global treaty.

“Cities have great capacities to address climate change, even in the absence of a binding global treaty among nations, which is why we are here today. We are demonstrating the leadership of mayors and cities around the world to take action,” said Martha Delgado, Mexico City’s secretary of the environment and ICLEI vice president.

The Mexico City Pact calls for cities to develop and implement climate action plans that promote local laws and initiatives to reduce GHG reductions. To establish and follow up on cities’ commitments, the signers will establish their climate actions in the Carbon Cities Climate Registry (CCCR) at the Bonn Centre for Local Climate Action and Reporting (carbonn).

Visit the website for more information about the pact and the summit, or download the pact (also available in Spanish & French).

10 Actions by Mexico City to Address Climate Change

Posted in Events, Movements by Kate Archdeacon on November 22nd, 2010

Sustainable Cities Net: Posting from the UCLG Congress in Mexico City 18-25 November

The City of Mexico launched their publication “10 Actions to Address Climate Change” here at the Dome on Friday night, with the assistance of a range of guest speakers including Pedro Miranda, Head of Siemens One. Siemens have sponsored the publication, which outlines programs the City has implemented over the past 4 years to reduce GHG emissions. These actions include:

  • Transport Corridors / Zero Emissions Transport Corridor
  • ECOBICI Individual Transport System
  • Minibus and Taxis Replacement Program
  • Metro Line 12
  • Sustainable Housing Program
  • Solar Energy Use Regulations
  • Mexico City Goverment Enviromental Management System
  • Green Roofs Program
  • Recovery of the Rivers Magdalena and Eslava
  • Restoration of Ecosystems and Compensation for Maintaining Environmental Services

Download the publication in Spanish and English.  We had the opportunity to ask Pedro Miranda some questions after the presentation, and the videos will be hosted at

Based on our time here over the past week, the ECOBICI appears to be well-established, and there’s a Ciclovia here in the city on Sundays – people were being “fitted” for bicycles as we travelled to the World Mayors Climate Summit early this morning.

Introducing the Smart Grid! via Mexico City

Posted in Movements, Research by Kate Archdeacon on November 19th, 2010

Sustainable Cities Net: Posting from the UCLG Congress in Mexico City 18-25 November

A Smart Grid, described by Siemens as the “intelligent network infrastructure” that supports the “systematic optimization of the energy system”, would allow energy production and consumption to become more aligned, reducing waste in energy production and increasing consumption awareness through smart meters, tariffs and smart appliances.

Siemens have erected their Smart Grid Dome in the Plaza Santo Domingo, here in Mexico City.  The interior dome acts as a projection screen for a multimedia introduction to Smart Grid Solutions, while touchscreens around the walls divide the information into (roughly) Grid Management and ICT, Renewable Energy, and Scales of Application (Industrial, Commercial, Residential).  The information is a mixture of technical specifications, background information, current research, case studies and proposals.

While it may seem like shifting to smart appliances and meters does not reduce the need for “stuff” (and what we do with all the “non-smart” stuff when it’s not wanted anymore), there are opportunities to combine Sharing Services and Product Service Systems (PSS) with smart grids.  For example, a smart grid might encourage people to set their smart washing machine to run during off-peak supply for wind power – say at 3 in the morning.  In this model, everyone still owns a washing machine.  But what if your local laundry service did the same thing – using less resources and energy while creating a central point for water-saving infrastructure? (Local Laundry Service?? Check out this pedal-powered laundry service in Buenos Aires.)

More to come on this…

To follow the posts from the Summit follow or bookmark this link,

Sustainable Cities Net: posting from Mexico City

Posted in Events, Movements by Kate Archdeacon on November 18th, 2010

Centro Historico, photo: K Archdeacon

On behalf of Sustainable Cities Net, I (Kate) am attending and blogging on the United Cities and Local Governments Congress and the World Mayors’ Summit, held this week in Mexico City. The content will appear here and also on a site created by Siemens, who provided a similar service at COP 15 and will do so at COP 16 next month.  Over three thousand delegates from around the world will attend the presentations from city mayors on the pressures and responses they meet in their own city.  The opportunity to expand the discussion and learn about pressures, models, scales, successes and failures in other cities is unique, and the material from Sustainable Cities Net and Sustainable Melbourne will make its way into my perspective and reports.  Bloggers from other countries will be there too, so keep an eye on all the sites for a diversity of opinion!

About the Congress & Summit:

The UCLG Congress – The Local and Regional Leaders World Summit – is organised every 3 years and it brings together over 3000 local and regional elected representatives and practitioners from around the world.

Since its creation in Paris in 2004, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) has worked to make the voice of mayors and local and regional officials heard, in order to guarantee that cities and regions take their rightful place in the international community.  The cities and regions, including their inhabitants, that we work for, are being faced with stark challenges from global phenomena and events that demand individual and collective action from local authorities, such as: climate change, shared sustainable development, financial crises, dialogue between cultures.

The Local and Regional Leaders World Summit, November 18 – 21 in Mexico City, which will bring together mayors, presidents of regions, local elected officials and their partners, will be an unprecedented occasion for exchange and debate on the role of local governments in development and in the efforts for greater between citizens and also between cities and regions.

The World Mayors Summit on Climate (WMSC) will be held on November 21, 2010 in Mexico City, so that mayors from different regions of the world can sign a voluntary Pact (the Global Cities Covenant on Climate “the Mexico City Pact”) that sends a clear message to the international community on the strategic importance of cities in the struggle against climate change.
(UCLG English programme, Spanish programme, French programme,)
(Programmes on the site)

To follow the posts from the Summit follow or bookmark this link,

We will be posting regular Sustainable Cities content as well, so keep adding your articles and photos!