IDB expands city initiative in Mexico
Seven Mexican cities are set to join the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) Emerging Sustainable Cities Initiative (ESCI) by June, attendees were told during the Smart City Expo held in Puebla, Mexico. Strongly supported by the Mexican government, the IDB will shortly sign a strategic alliance with the Mexican Development Bank, BANOBRAS, to promote environmental, urban and economic development in six port cities. “Mexico wants ESCI to be the key actor in the process of developing a strategy to achieve those goals,” Ricardo de Vecchi, Mexico Coordinator, ESCI, told Development Finance in Puebla. “ESCI’s Action Plan will provide an urban development blueprint and will help consolidate the Initiative’s presence in Mexico. It will also strengthen the sustainability prospects of those cities and serve as an example to other intermediate urban centres in the country.” ESCI employs a multidisciplinary approach to identify, organise and prioritise urban interventions to tackle the main roadblocks that prevent the sustainable growth of emerging cities in Latin America and the Caribbean. Advanced talks are also in place with the North American Development Bank, NADBANK, to implement the Initiative’s methodology in a pilot city, yet to be named. The deal will include a co-financing agreement between NADBANK and the IDB to implement the Initiative’s methodology. NADBANK was created after the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement to promote development in US and Mexican cities located within 300 kilometres of the border. “These cities along with the three that already have an Action Plan, will make Mexico one of the biggest country programmes within ESCI,” added De Vecchi. The ESCI is the IDB’s non-reimbursable technical assistance programme providing direct support to national and subnational governments in the development and execution of city Action Plans.
By Jonathan Andrews
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Photo: IDB