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Increasingly national, regional and local authorities include sustainable initiatives in their governance programs: sustainable mobility, energy efficiency, green job creation, waste and recycling management, etc. Their aim is to convert their countries and cities into places that respect the environment and are devoted to the wellbeing of their inhabitants.
This effort is also rewarded in the form of revenues from tourism, since the commitment of a destination to sustainability is a further incentive for attracting travellers.
This gallery looks at some of the most sustainable destinations in Mexico based on the country’s 2015 Competitive and Sustainable Cities Index (IMCO), prepared by the Mexican Competitiveness Institute and the financial services provider Banamex.
Leading the ranking is the metropolitan region of Zacatecas-Guadalupe. Its main strength resides in social wellbeing and healthcare aspects, with a low percentage of homes with earth floors (45%) and a high ratio of doctors (10.2 per 100,000 inhabitants). It also has one of the best universities in all Latin America.
Environmentally speaking, it offers a large proportion of green spaces (2.25 square meters per inhabitant) and 65% of the population has easy access to these areas.
ZMVM (the Valley of Mexico Metropolitan Zone) is in second place in the index, mainly due to lying within the Federal District and its performance in the area of innovation. The ratio of patents applied for is 9.5 per 100,000 inhabitants, the highest in Mexico.
In environmental terms, the Valley of Mexico region has a large number of institutions, programs, and monitoring and measurement tools, concerned with air quality, historically one of its biggest problems. It complies permitted limits on over 90% of days during the year, which is seen as a great success in Mexico.
Guanajuato, capital of the state of the same name, nestles in the northern center of the country and holds a good position in the most sustainable cities in Mexico index for three key reasons: water management, solid waste management, and mobility. It is also one of the cities with the lowest homicide rates in the country (6.1 per 100,000 inhabitants).
The good management of water resources here is of special importance given that Guanajuato is situated in an area of medium-high water stress.
The capital of the landlocked Coahuila state is the fourth most sustainable city in the IMCO and Banamex ranking, partly due to being the best city for governance and employment, with 66% of the population working in the formal sector, that is registered in the work system and paying taxes.
It has the third most green areas (4.3 square meters per inhabitant) and the best access to these areas for its citizens in all Mexico (84%). 1.5% of land in the city is a green area, above the national average.
In fifth place in the sustainable cities ranking lies Monterrey. The capital, and most populated city in Nuevo Leon State, stands out in the areas of competitiveness and innovation, with 1.2 large companies per 1,000.
On the environmental side, Monterrey has a broad-ranging monitoring system on the regional level that generates data that can be consulted by citizens. The city has managed to stay within the daily ozone concentration limits on 94% of days of the year.
Sources: Forbes and the 2015 Competitive and Sustainable Cities Index.
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