Naucalpan’s Industrial Zone to Become More ResilientBy Fernando Mares | Tue, 06/14/2022 - 09:54
According to the UN, cities are responsible for 70 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions, but at the same time a great source of ideas and solutions. Within this context, the World Resources Institute (WRI) has chosen the State of Mexico municipality Naucalpan to host a pilot project, with the aim of reclaiming its industrial zone and implementing a new model for urban development to mitigate climate change’s adverse effects.
Naucalpan’s authorities and WRI representatives signed an agreement to join the UN Transformative Urban Coalitions, which promotes urban sustainability through participative governance including local governments, citizens, academics and the private sector, among other key players. The initiative is financed by the German Ministry for the Environment.
Real estate burdens, the environment, traffic-related issues and regulations have affected the industrial zone, forcing entrepreneurs move their operations elsewhere. To maintain jobs in the area, municipal authorities have promoted the use of land modifications to adapt the zone to commercial land use. Nevertheless, the industrial sector says this has only accelerated the industrial zone’s decline.
Óscar Zárate, Technical Adviser, Naucalpan Municipal Government, says that along with local and federal authorities and the WRI, the government will develop strategies to restore the 700ha Naucalpan Industrial zone. This includes cleaning up the Rio Hondo, to the benefit over 600,000 inhabitants, 60 percent of the municipality’s population.
According to the agreement, an Urban Laboratory in Naucalpan is to be constructed. The government must establish a framework to address environmental and urban restoration issues, as well as make urban spaces more inclusive and sustainable. WRI’s main objective is to transform Naucalpan into a “resilient” municipality.
According to Pablo Lazo, Director for Urban Development Green Infrastructure and Water, WRI, Naucalpan was chosen because of its strategic location within Mexico City, as well as for its infrastructure and the challenges it faces regarding pollution. He added that since the municipality has a large industrial presence, it can set a precedent toward a greener industry.
In the Americas, WRI is developing further projects in Leon, Guanajuato, as well as in Brazil and Argentina. There, 80 percent of the population lives in urban areas, which are threatened by the effects of climate change such as higher temperatures, water shortages and air pollution. Therefore, the initiative aims to open urban labs to promote decarbonization, emission reductions, the rescue of water bodies and the restoration of public spaces.