Mexico City, Mexico

Photo by SEDEMA

Monitoring, Maintenance, and Management

How has the initiative been designed and implemented so that long-term needs for management and maintenance are reduced and can be met?

The strengthening of the public policy framework and the integration of green infrastructure in urban planning instruments with a long-term vision were considered essential for the continuity and maintenance of interventions, for example:

  • Mexico City developed the Special Program for Green Infrastructure, from which a multi-sector portfolio of short, medium, and long-term projects emerges.
  • The strengthening of the Public Environmental Fund (administrated by the Secretariat of Environment of Mexico City and stablished by law) will make it possible to capitalize investment from sources of financing from multilateral, bilateral and private organizations, opening the opportunity to leverage greater resources for the maintenance of interventions and the execution of projects in the short, medium and long term.
  • Strengthening the capacities of rural communities and social participation seeks to ensure ownership of projects and interventions and their continuity, despite administrative changes in the government. That is why one of the five components of Altépetl program named “Capacity building for rural well-being” is focused on develop technical, organizational and productive capacities in the beneficiaries of the program.
  • To achieve plantations that imply fewer requirements and a more successful survival in the medium and long term, the aim has been to optimally combine the natural conditions offered in the rainy season with work during the dry season, the appropriate selection of species and permanent coordination between authorities in order to meet any requirement that may arise in terms of maintenance and needs of the vegetation.
What protocols are in place to facilitate monitoring of results?

The interventions carried out in the city are planned and evaluated through the combination of the following indicators:

  • Structural indicators to monitor green infrastructure, the multidimensional diversity of the urban landscape and urban green spaces. They include:
    • vegetation index by municipality
    • green area index per capita
    • – dex of accessibility to green areas

The latter has been essential to know that the average of green area per inhabitant (GA/Ihab) in 2017 was 7.54 m² (below international recommendations) and there was a notorious territorial inequality (six municipalities with GA/Ihab of 15.4 to 9.6m² and 10 municipalities with a GA/Ihab of less than 8.5 m² in their urban area or even less than 3 m2). The interventions have taken this condition into account to territorially balance the natural spaces.

  • Ecological indicators to assess the biodiversity and ecological quality of the landscape:
    • Margalef diversity index
    • fragmentation index
    • urban biodiversity index or Singapore index, due to end in mid-2022, with 28 indicators assessing native biodiversity, ecosystem services and governance
  • Visual indicators to evaluate the visual landscape from surveys on the social perception of green infrastructure, biodiversity and environmental quality.
  • Additionally, progress in the execution of the guiding programs and instruments (Special Green Infrastructure Program, Altépetl, Climate Action Program and soon the Strategy for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity) is measured.
How has the initiative been enhanced in response to monitoring of results?

The Special Green Infrastructure Program is a living and comprehensive instrument that can be adapted to the conditions of each city, because it combines the local visions and integrates government, academic and organizational efforts at all stages of its development, depending on the local needs expressed by all of them:

  • Collaboration schemes with the private sector have been strengthened, as a result of requests from the members of the sector, to have increasingly homogeneous pre-designed proposals, which have allowed us to show more clearly the scope of the expected contributions, show a catalog of spaces and define financial estimates that provide greater certainty and enable a better assessment by companies.
  • The support of the interventions with materials and actions of environmental awareness and education has been promoted even more, to cover the areas of opportunity identified by the field staff and the neighbors themselves, to generate an environmental awareness, care for the green areas that accompanies to interventions
  • Green infrastructure solutions have been integrated transversally into multifunctional planning, management and urban design programs, projects and actions at various scales, in such a way that it has permeated more and more planning and execution instruments, in based on their own experiences and work with different areas of government.

This has allowed it possible to optimize resources, increase scope, improve coordination and increase the permanence of the actions carried out, for the regeneration of ecological conditions throughout the city.