Share |

Mexico City: Back From the Brink?

  • warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home6/saismedi/public_html/saisphere/sites/all/modules/openpublish_core/theme_helpers/node-article.tpl.inc on line 48.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home6/saismedi/public_html/saisphere/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_user::init() should be compatible with views_handler_field::init(&$view, $options) in /home6/saismedi/public_html/saisphere/sites/all/modules/views/modules/user/views_handler_field_user.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home6/saismedi/public_html/saisphere/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 0.


Growing up in what by the 1980s was the biggest metropolis in the world, my friends and I thought we were very tough. Taking to heart the naïve view that “things that do not kill you make you stronger,” there was plenty to choose from in Mexico City. To name but a few, the city had the worst quality air anywhere, and we still managed to play soccer, basketball and water polo at 7,300 feet above sea level without collapsing. We learned fortitude and patience from the three-plus hours lost in traffic as we fulfilled our daily obligations. We developed good negotiating skills, given that by 18 or 19 years of age we each had been mugged at knife- or gunpoint at least a couple times without suffering major consequences. Of course, our smugness was baseless because we were among the lucky minority to have been raised in middle-class or well-to-do households, and therefore our exposure to the dangers and hazards of the city were minuscule in relative terms.

Still, by the end of the 1980s, forecasts by urban planners, demographers, environmental scientists and criminologists were not far from equating the city's future with the dystopia depicted in the science fiction film Blade Runner if serious remedial policies were not implemented. The movie, set in Los Angeles in 2019, portrays millions of alienated individuals, going about their business in haste and fear, engulfed by perpetual fog and smog alongside acid rain, against the permanent sound of sirens and blinding red and yellow lights of emergency services vehicles responding to unstoppable criminal activity. Fast-forward one-quarter of a century: Mexico City at the start of the 2010s has confounded the more pessimistic predictions and although facing many serious, large-scale challenges seems to have come back from the brink. 

No longer the world’s largest metropolis (it is now among the top 10 by population, with around 21 million inhabitants), the high plateau where Mexico City is located nonetheless has the greatest population density of the Western Hemisphere’s three largest megalopolises (the others are São Paulo and New York City). The city, whose official name is Distrito ­Federal, is the capital of the country, and despite the growth and diversification of other cities—such as Guadalajara, León, Monterrey, Puebla and Querétaro—it remains the neuralgic center of political, economic and cultural life in Mexico. The metropolitan area produces close to one-third of the country’s annual gross domestic product at around $400 billion and is home to more than 20 percent of the country’s total population (around 110 million to 115 million in 2012).

Unsurprisingly, given the city's centrality in the national conversation­ and the vast amount of resources it consumes and goods and services it produces, Mexico City and its inhabitants have traditionally elicited hostile reactions from Mexicans elsewhere. For example, the pejorative reference to a native of Mexico City is chilango. While the etymology remains deeply contested, its usage is not as in car stickers for non-Mexico City residents that read, “Haz patria, mata a un chilango” (“Nurture the motherland, kill someone from the capital”). Self-aware and a bit embarrassed, chilangos have replied to the challenges with a variety of measures that have improved living conditions for many of the city's residents, but reality remains characterized by abysmal differences for different population groups.

One City, Three Universes

Román Gómez, Mexico-based senior consultant for the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (U.N.-Habitat), describes everyday life in the city as occurring in three parallel universes. Around 5 percent of the population are members of rich households. Their daily routine is relatively functional, although it unfolds in small bubbles kept in place by heavy spending on private security—in some cases, the idea of belonging to a gated community implies three or four checkpoints to reach your destination—and they still have to suffer general problems such as few secure, open green spaces; an intermittent supply of potable water; and long battles with moving around, given chronic vehicular congestion on the roads.

Another 15 to 20 percent of the population is made up of middle-class households that, in addition to experiencing the common transportation and environmental problems, are at higher risk of suffering from criminal and violent acts. Kidnapping, an industry that flourished in the mid-1990s after Mexico's financial and economic implosion in 1994Ð95, evolved from a specialized activity carried out by ex-police and ex-military who targeted the very rich to one where the lower to upper middle classes are the main source of revenue.

In turn, life for a staggering 75 to 80 percent of the metropolitan population is characterized by features associated with traditional urban poverty. Most live in consolidated squatter settlements and emerging peri-urban areas “misery belts” surrounding the city. Commuting time for individuals who work in the city as office support and cleaning personnel, as house servants, and in the informal car parking/car watching/street cleaning industry can be three to five hours. A majority get bad-quality water intermittently from the network and via pipe trucks that show up two or three times a week and sometimes sell at 10 times the going price. Sewer systems are close to nonexistent, and waste most frequently ends up in ravines, with disastrous pollution impact.

Regarding crime and violence, many of these communities are beyond the reach of the state's authority. They are run and fleeced by local criminal groups who set their rules based on theft, extortion and gender-based violence (feminicides remain an epidemic not only in northern cities such as Ciudad Ju‡rez but also in poor neighborhoods of Mexico City's metropolitan area). In some big shantytowns, such as Ciudad Nezahualc—yotl, Ecatepec  and Iztapalapa, the police dare not show their faces when criminal groups make it explicit that they are settling accounts.

As a consequence of such bitterly different realities, the average perspective of Mexico City dwellers regarding their quality of life, their challenges and their hopes is close to meaningless. Yet a majority of the city's very diverse population agrees that some issues have been characterized by improvements in the last one and a half decades.

Progressive Politics and Business Pragmatism

Up until 1997, the Mexico City government was appointed by the country’s president. That year the city had its first democratic elections to choose its authorities. Since then, the left-wing party Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD) has won four successive elections and ruled uninterrupted. The Federal District and a few of the 31 states that make up Mexico’s federal system are in the minority that have enjoyed continuous “unified government”—that is, the same party controls the executive and legislative branches. While the city boasts a healthy plural spirit in terms of citizen beliefs, values and attitudes, a majority have backed progressive policies that have been implemented by the PRD, such as abortion, same-sex marriage and a limited use of euthanasia. Overall, Mexico remains a socially conservative society, and therefore many educated youngsters with liberal views continue to leave the choking conservative environment of provincial cities to join a cauldron of permissive, liberal thinking and practice in the capital.

Likewise, breaking with the stereotype of Latin American leftists as inveterate nationalists who are antagonistic to private entrepreneurs and business in general, PRD governments in Mexico City have forged successful working relationships with tycoons such as ­Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world, to promote the construction of public works. Thus, a multibillion-dollar urban renewal project has contributed to redevelopment of the city’s downtown since the second half of the 1990s. Other projects include a large-scale effort to improve human flows in the city via the construction of new subway system routes, including Route 12; construction of the second tier of the Periférico, the main city’s ring road; and the growth of the other public transport infrastructure, the Metrobús. All these represent cases of successful and pragmatic private-public partnerships (PPPs). In the case of water, a PPP scheme involving, among others, Slim’s IDEAL construction company, is building the Atotonilco water treatment plant, considered the largest wastewater treatment project in the world at a cost of $790 million. As a result, some of the capital’s biggest tycoons have a reputation for respecting and being able to work with the left, in contrast with the conservative and hostile attitude that business communities in other big Mexican cities—Monterrey, in particular—have traditionally espoused.

Breathing Better Air

Another area where a majority of capital dwellers perceive a significant improvement vis-ˆ-vis the 1980s and '90s is air quality. This result is squarely thanks to bold policymaking and implementation. Starting in the late 1980s and early 1990s, successive federal gov-ernments pursued a policy of industrial de-concentration, whereby heavy industry particularly heavy polluters such as cement and paper plants were banned from the city. Likewise, the introduction of regular unleaded ­gasoline and high-octane gasoline in the 1990s, coupled with the expansion of subway lines, conversion of the public transport fleet to natural gas fuel and creation of suburban train lines, has improved air quality significantly in the Valley of Mexico.

Visitors today rightly continue to complain about the high levels of pollution in the city. However, any judgment is relative. I still remember, as a youth, the radio and TV reports, particularly during winter, recounting dozens of daily hospital admittances of babies and the elderly suffering from breathing complications caused by high levels of air pollution. And poor air quality caused suspension of classes, from primary to high school, sometimes for weeks at a time.

Had present-day visitors been in Mexico City in the late 1980s or early 1990s, they almost certainly would have reached a conclusion opposite the one held by my teenage friends and me: Chronically breathing high-pollution air does not strengthen you but rather weakens you, makes you ill and eventually kills you.

Defying the Doomsayers

Chilangos have neither ameliorated the abysmal differences in life opportunities and basic living conditions that separate the main socioeconomic groups nor made their city into one of the “top 10” places to live, according to lifestyle magazines for the well-heeled such as Monocle. Nonetheless, they have made improvements that have confounded doomsayers who thought the place would become unlivable.

Today, the megalopolis continues to capture the imagination of travelers the world over who consider Mexico City a “happening” place, a rich multicultural space of dramatic contrasts that regardless of their wanting to live in it or not leaves an indelible mark on visitors and dwellers alike.


Comments

Much obliged to you a cluster for imparting this to every one of us you really acknowledge what you are discussing! Bookmarked. It would be ideal if you additionally look for guidance from my site =). We could have a hyperlink change contract between us! free wedding speeches

I will be leading Medivo’s product group and will continue to be devoted to an improved patient experience and a growing patient community. Angel Investor

Just try to specify ones substance can be as mind blowing. This clarity with your post is radiant and that i may believe you're a master for this issue. High caliber alongside your agree grant me to grab your present provide for keep changed by utilizing drawing nearer blog entry. You rock several alongside you ought to go on the pleasurable take care of business. Usa Politic News

Hey – great blog, just looking around some blogs, seems a really nice platform you are using. buy dog products online

Cool stuff you have and you keep redesign every one of us. https://www.365homewarranty.com

I take in some new stuff from it as well, a debt of gratitude is in order for sharing your data. steamsaunadepot.com

This web journal site is really cool! How was it made ! I am happy you take pride in what you compose. This makes you stand way out from numerous different scholars that push ineffectively composed substance. Apartemen Harian Di Depok

Much obliged to you for some other educational web journal. Where else would I be able to understand that sort of data written in such a perfect means? I have a mission that I"m a little while ago chipping away at, and I have been at the post for such data. buy safe YouTube views

Waooow!! Nice blog, this will be greatly helpful.
limousine credit card processing

Murah: Stainless menonton jual besi siku cikarang
baja sangat murah namun berharga mencari. Mereka dengan mudah

I must say, I thought this was a pretty interesting read when it comes to this topic. Liked the material. . . Cat Feeding Station

This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.You put really very helpful information. Keep it up. Keep blogging. Looking to reading your next post. Jeds Remedy Planner

I could I desire to suggest you few interesting things or tips. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I want to read more things about it view site www.howtounlockgalaxys5.com

I regularly visit this site to check out the events and functions and sometimes for resources. However, it has been a while that you have shared some news about latest or upcoming events Amway Nutrilite Daily Supplements

This is highly informatics. crisp and clear. I think that everything has been described in systematic manner so that reader could get maximum information and learn many things.
Spider Bites Symptoms

I think this is a better than average article. You make this data fascinating and locks in. You give perusers a ton to consider and I welcome that sort of composing. click for more info

They have a very welcoming and a gracious staff! Including the best customer service I have ever received, they are surely one of the best! Suggested to all!concrete contractors Sacramento

Also operate a site and if you are ever interested in doing some visitor writing for me if possible feel free to let me know r4 3ds

In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to start my own BlogEngine blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your write up is a fine example of it. cosmic ordering for beginners

Hi I found your site by mistake when i was searching yahoo for this acne issue, I must say your site is really helpful I also love the design, its amazing!. Hippie clothes

Brilliant work. You are one of the best writers of this era. Your work ethic is sensational. The information you share is always good. You always choose the right font. Outstanding writer san jose hauling

Worldwide adult directory containing listings for independent escorts, escort agencies, fetish and massage professionals arranged by location.http://nyasianoutcall.com/ for details and insights
World independent escort service

Easily, the article is actually the best topic on this registry related issue. I fit in with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your next updates. m27500

When you sell an investment at a profit, you will owe capital gains taxes on the money you make. Fortunately, investors can take steps to minimize the capital gains taxes they pay and keep more of their money in their own pockets. largest event management company in kl

You make such a large number of incredible focuses here that I read your article two or three times. Your perspectives are as per my own particular generally. This is extraordinary substance for your perusers. kit tattoo

Mexico City a “happening” place, a rich multicultural space of dramatic contrasts that regardless of their wanting to live in it or not leaves an indelible mark on visitors and dwellers alike dining table and chairs

Superfoods are foods — mostly plant-based but also some fish and dairy — thought to be nutritionally dense and thus good for one's health. Blueberries, salmon, kale and acai are just a few examples of foods that have garnered the "superfood" label.

green juice recipes @ http://www.iorganifireviews.com/10-best-green-juice-recipes-healthy-reci...
organifi @ http://www.iorganifireviews.com/
superfood @ http://www.bestgreensuperfoodpowder.com
green superfood powder @ http://www.iorganifireviews.com/best-green-superfood-powder-reviews/
3 week diet plan reviews @ http://ithe3weekdietplanreviews.com/
amazing grass green superfood powder @ http://www.iorganifireviews.com/amazing-grass-green-superfood-powder-rev...

organifi green juice reviews @ http://www.bestgreensuperfoodpowder.com/organifi-green-juice-reviews-ama...
amazing grass green superfood reviews @ http://www.bestgreensuperfoodpowder.com/amazing-grass-green-superfood-po...
amazing grass green superfood where to buy @ http://www.iorganifireviews.com/amazing-grass-green-superfood-flavors-wh...
green vibrance @ http://www.iorganifireviews.com/green-vibrance-reviews/
vega protein and greens @ http://www.iorganifireviews.com/vega-protein-and-greens-reviews/

organifi green juice @ https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/organifi-green-juice-reviews-really-worth...
super greens powder @ http://www.iorganifireviews.com/super-greens-powder-reviews/
maximum vibrance reviews @ http://www.iorganifireviews.com/maximum-vibrance-reviews/
athletic greens @ http://www.iorganifireviews.com/athletic-greens-reviews/
organic protein powder @ http://www.iorganifireviews.com/organic-protien-powder-reviews/
Biopharma nanogreens 10 @ http://www.iorganifireviews.com/biopharma-nanogreens-10-reviews/
vega one nutritional shake @ http://www.iorganifireviews.com/vega-one-nutritional-shake-reviews/

Thank you, I’ve been seeking for info about this subject matter for ages and yours is the best I have discovered so far. yard truck

I was perusing your article and thought about whether you had considered making a digital book on this subject. You're composing would offer it quick. You have a great deal of composing ability. admin

I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work commercial semi truck insurance companies

Your articles are more than wow! And also the best way to make understand the things mentioned in it.
cash advance loan lenders

On the off chance that you set out to make me think today; mission fulfilled! I truly like you"re composing style and how you express your thoughts. Much obliged to you. West Palm Beach DUI Attorney

We believe that everyone deserves a chance at moving ahead with their lives. In our Mitigation services we strive to provide the Court with your history For our other court appointed services, our goal is to help provide the most up to date and relevant interventions.
movers san jose ca

Thank you so much for the post you do. I like your post and all you share with us is up to date and quite informative, i would like to bookmark the page so i can come here again to read you, as you have done a wonderful job Singapore SEO Company | Internet Marketing Experts - IMSC

I just couldn't leave your site before letting you know that I really appreciated the top quality information you present to your guests? Will be back again as often as possible to determine the status of new posts. see it here

I truly awed after read this in light of some quality work and educational contemplations . I just wanna express profound gratitude for the essayist and want you to enjoy all that life has to offer for coming ps4 custom controllers

I feel emphatically about it and love adapting more on this theme. In the event that conceivable, as you pick up aptitude, would you mind upgrading your web journal with additional data? It is greatly useful for me Nationwide title company

menstrual cup usa

best menstrual cup

menstrual cup dangers

how to choose a menstrual cup

menstrual cup online china

about menstrual cups

guide to menstrual cups

research menstrual cup

buy menstrual cup

Menstrual Cup Canada

Menstrual cup information

Menstrual Cup Buy

https://twitter.com/thelunacup

https://www.facebook.com/Menstrual-Cup-Reviews-Buy-739015572865858/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menstrual_cup

https://twitter.com/menstrualcupfan

Top 10 menstrual cups

http://health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/02/tired-of-tampons-here-are-pros-and-cons-of-menstrual-cups/

http://lunacup.livejournal.com/

https://menstrualcupsreview.wordpress.com/

Menstrual Cup Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Diva-Cup-Pre-Childbirth/dp/B000FAG6X0

http://www.webmd.com/women/guide/menstrual-cup

http://www.wikihow.com/Buy-a-Menstrual-Cup

Tags related to menstrual cup
how to insert a menstrual cups
menstrual cups comparison chart
are menstrual cups safe
menstrual cups reviews
menstrual cups vs tampons
menstrual cups comparison chart
best menstrual cup
cheap menstrual cup
menstrual cup best brand
softer menstrual cup
icare menstrual cup review
luna cup vs diva cup
diva cup vs lena cup
tampons
menstrual cups comparison
menstrual cups walmart
Menstrual cup - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menstrual_cup
menstrual cup dangers
luna cup
menstrual cup where to buy
menstrual cup reviews
walgreens menstrual cup
menstrual cup comparison
best menstrual cup
diva cup problems

Every day I visit a number of blog sites to see content, however this offers quality based content.
Mark Curry

I truly appreciated perusing this post, huge fan. Keep doing awesome me when would you be able to distribute more articles or where would I be able to peruse more on the subject? geschenkideen weihnachten

I have perused your online journal it is exceptionally useful for me. I need to express profound gratitude to you. I have bookmark your site for future redesigns. Trip to Brazil

This sort of message continually motivating and I like to peruse quality substance, so cheerful to discover great spot to numerous here in the post the written work is simply incredible, thanks for the post. buy book report

I Really Liked The Font You've Chose To Use In This Article. Could I Please Get The Name Of That Font? I Wanted To Use It In My Project Now. Thanks Very Much!
book

Thank you very much for writing such an interesting article on this topic. This has really made me think and I hope to read more.
copywriter

I Really Liked The Font You've Chose To Use In This Article. Could I Please Get The Name Of That Font? I Wanted To Use It In My Project Now. Thanks Very Much!
capannina forte dei marmi

Thanks for sharing this interesting blog with us.My pleasure to being here on your blog..I wanna come beck here for new post from your site.
discoteche in versilia

i was simply perusing along and happened upon your web journal. simply needed to say great online journal and this article truly helped me. Vitamonk

You should make sure that the pillows are completely dry after you wash them. Even after putting them in a dryer you have to air-dry the pillows and remove the last traces of moisture from them nha cai ca cuoc

Your article has provoked a considerable measure of positive hobby. I can see why since you have made such a decent showing of making it fascinating. gaming udstyr

Thanks for writing such a good article, I stumbled onto your blog and read a few post. I like your style of writing... happy new year