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Industrialists see potential to create 13 “smart cities” in Mexico

, Industrialists see potential to create 13 “smart cities” in Mexico

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Mexican Confederation of Industrial Chambers (Concamin) has identified potential in 13 Mexican cities to implement a “smart cities” model.

Concamin has selected Aguascalientes, Cuernavaca, León and Pachuca (in the center of the country), Coatzacoalcos, Chetumal, Mérida, Oaxaca, Salina Cruz and Tuxtla Gutiérrez (in the southeast), Xalapa (in the east), Morelia (in the west) and Mexicali (in the north).

Industrialists see potential to create 13 "smart cities" in Mexico
Industrialists see potential to create 13 “smart cities” in Mexico. (Photo internet reproduction)

“The main objective is to incorporate the principle of sustainability in city planning, but with a ‘smart city’ or intelligent city concept as the roadmap,” explained Marco Gutiérrez, president of Concamin’s Smart Cities Commission.

Mexico has more than 2,400 municipalities, but only 73 Mexican cities generate 87% of GDP, house 64% of the population, and concentrate 89% of investment, according to the latest Urban Competitiveness Index (ICU) of the Mexican Institute of Competitiveness (IMCO).

IMCO found that the Valley of Mexico, in the country’s capital, and Monterrey, in the north, are the only cities evaluated with a high level of competitiveness.

Gutiérrez highlighted the potential of Mexican cities by citing the recognition of the Financial Times newspaper that this week placed Mexico City as the first Latin American City of the Future 2021/22.

“Mexico City has an advanced level, but it is the capital, we need to permeate this policy of incorporating technology in public services to cities and smaller municipalities, from 500,000 to 1 million inhabitants,” said the Concamin representative.

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The businessman explained that the cities that will receive support from the industry were selected based on three criteria: population (between half a million and 1 million inhabitants), economy and governance, and strategic location.

Therefore, he clarified that Mexico City, Monterrey, and Guadalajara, the three largest metropolises in the country, require different advice due to their unique administrative challenges.

The Concamin will offer “a wealth of solutions” to the cities after a diagnosis of 80 indicators, but it will be the municipalities that will prepare the projects. “Industry becomes more competitive and, of course, a better quality of life depends on that,” said Gutiérrez.

The private sector leader mentioned challenges such as fiscal policy and access to federal funds so that municipalities have more resources for their own projects.

Gutiérrez considered urban development key for Mexico to reactivate after the historical contraction of 8.2% of GDP in 2020. “The traditional path of waiting for large projects to trickle down as a cascade is going to take 30 or 40 years, and we really need to reactivate the municipalities or cities more quickly,” he concluded.

Smart City model

A smart city is an urban area that uses different types of electronic methods and sensors to collect data. Insights gained from that data are used to manage assets, resources, and services efficiently; in return, that data is used to improve the operations across the city.

This includes data collected from citizens, devices, buildings, and assets that are then processed and analyzed to monitor and manage traffic and transportation systems, power plants, utilities, water supply networks, waste, crime detection, information systems, schools, libraries, hospitals, and other community services.

The smart city concept integrates information and communication technology and various physical devices connected to the IoT (Internet of things) network to optimize the efficiency of city operations and services and connect to citizens.

Smart city technology allows city officials to interact directly with both community and city infrastructure and to monitor what is happening in the city and how the city is evolving.

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