Mexico City, Mexico

Photo by SEDEMA

Sustainability and Resilience

What efforts have been made to reduce the carbon footprint of the initiative?

The Direction of Climate Change and Sustainable Projects monitors and quantifies the impacts of the Environmental and Climate Change Program (ECCP) of Mexico City in each of its 7 axes (Revegetation of the countryside and the city, Rescue of rivers and water bodies, Sustainable water management, Zero waste, Integrated and sustainable mobility, Air quality and Solar city). In this sense, interventions for “Revegetation of the countryside and the city” are already contributing to mitigate 74,249 tons of CO2e per year.

In addition, the following actions contribute to reducing the carbon footprint:

  • Increased local production of plants in our nurseries has allowed us to reduce the acquisition of other sites outside the city, reducing the carbon footprint associated with the transfer
  • Strengthening of food production in the countryside of the city, promotion of other forms of urban agriculture (urban orchards) and promotion of local consumption of these products
  • The use of organic waste to produce compost helps reduce the extraction of forest land, improve the city’s soils and preserve the ecological functions of carbon sequestration
  • The increase in green areas and accessibility to public spaces through the “Sowing Parks” program, associated with an efficient integrated mobility plan (as part of another axis of ECCP), reduces travel times and distances, in addition to replace other types of recreational activities that involve car travel
  • The use of construction waste and the application of nature-based solutions contribute to the goals of mitigating emissions of greenhouse gases and compounds.
How have the anticipated impacts of climate change been considered?

Two of the principles on which the design of green infrastructure in the city is based are functionality and resilience. In addition to creating recreational, safe and comfortable spaces for people, green and blue spaces provide ecosystem services that help mitigate climate change, adapt and improve resilience. For this, the following aspects are considered:

  • Characterization of natural and anthropogenic hazards, as well as vulnerability and exposure, according to the “Atlas of Risks of Mexico City”.
  • Incorporation of actions, techniques and/or practices that allow natural, social and economic systems to resist, assimilate, adapt and recover from the impacts and effects of global warming phenomena and disturbances caused by urban pressure.
  • Linkage with climatic hazards and risks and the analysis of vulnerability traits by municipality.
  • Integration of the basin approach in the rehabilitation, maintenance and comprehensive management of the city’s hydrological system, so as to contribute to water resilience.

On these bases, the interventions of the “Green Challenge” anticipate the expected impacts of climate change and seek to increase the recharge of the aquifer, reduce the risk of flooding, mitigate the urban heat island effect, recover and conserve the habitat of wild species (particularly those most vulnerable to climate change), increase the resilience of production systems inside conservation land and reduce the vulnerability of natural ecosystems.

What processes does the initiative include for it to be considerate in its use of soils and other natural resources?

Mexico City promotes a vision of circularity that is increasingly integrated into the production and consumption processes, which is reflected in the revegetation interventions that seek to reduce the extraction of natural resources, maintain a constant flow of these and manage them in a circularly way. Samples of this are:

  • Production of substrates and soils from pruning and gardening residues to avoid the use of mountain land in nurseries, lawns, gardens and planters, parks and other green spaces, encouraging the continuity of nutrient flows and the regeneration of the soils.
  • Creation of artificial wetlands, with benefits such as CO2 capture greater than forest surfaces, oxygen, temperature regulation, preservation of habitats for aquatic fauna, resident and migratory birds. The one designed in the form of a snail stands out within the San Juan de Aragón urban forest, of 3,100 m2 with a filtration capacity of 140,000 m3 in 24 hours.
  • Use of rainwater through catchment systems, with the purpose of reducing the use of drinking water for domestic tasks and reducing the extraction of the aquifer, adding to the objectives of the revegetation strategy through another aspect.
  • Greater treatment of wastewater, using only treated water in the maintenance of green areas and limiting the use of drinking water in activities for human consumption.
  • Use of construction waste in rehabilitated spaces.

This has made it possible to print a comprehensive and circular vision of resources, which contributes to the regeneration of natural sources and the recovery of essential resources for biological cycles.