Mexico's Sustainable Cities


    Best Practice sharing meeting of International Key Experts from Watershed-Dependent Cities (ref. RR0219-10; 2018-2019).



    Mexico City, Puebla, Toluca and Cuernavaca form a megalopolis that supports 30 million people. Large cities’ resilience relies on providing good quality water in combination with full engagement of indigenous communities who own water catchment land areas.

    This project is supporting the impact of the GCRF grant Mexico's megalopolis as a model for the key role of watershed protection to sustainable cities (ref. CI170253). Out of the 17 awarded projects under the British Academy’s ‘Cities and Infrastructure’ call, this project is one of only three that focussed on Latin America.


    Objectives and activities: 

    To make a film about our research in Mexico City, whose findings have implications for several watershed-dependent large cities in the global South; and organise a meeting inviting people from other watershed-dependent cities at the British Council in Mexico City to share experience and best practise solutions.


    The mountainous water catchment area surrounding Mexico City (Oscar Alvarez-Macotela)


    The film "Every Drop Counts" highlights the strategic relevance of both i) the key role of watershed protection to sustainable cities, and ii) further efforts to outreach for international collaboration and interdisciplinary approaches involving key actors in developing and implementing public policies for sustainable management of water catchment areas in megacities.

    The meeting at the British Embassy (Cactus Club, Mexico City) in July 2019 focused on the context and key challenges for the watershed management in four large cities in the ‘Global South’: Cape Town, Lima, Jakarta and Mexico City. The attendees were a small group of government representatives, legislators, academics and other key stakeholders, and academics. The findings have important applications for a number of watershed dependent large cities in the global South including Lima, Jakarta, Manila and Cape Town. A key benefit of the workshop at the British Embassy in Mexico City was to share experiences, and discuss best practice solutions and follow-up actions.


    SDG 6: 

     clean water and sanitation

    Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.


    Diana Bell, Professor of Conservation Biology, School of Biological Sciences.