OECD Territorial Reviews: Puebla-Tlaxcala, Mexico 2013

image of OECD Territorial Reviews: Puebla-Tlaxcala, Mexico 2013

Encompassing 39 municipalities in two states, Puebla-Tlaxcala is the fourth-largest metropolitan zone in Mexico. Over the past five decades, the region has successfully attracted major national and international firms, building its reputation as both a manufacturing hub specialising in auto production and one of Mexico’s most important centres of higher education. Yet it also faces important challenges. Compared to other large Mexican metropolitan zones, Puebla-Tlaxcala has a disproportionate share of individuals with low skills, which could represent a bottleneck to future growth. Urban sprawl is another challenge with important economic, environmental and social consequences. Puebla-Tlaxcala's urban footprint expanded nearly eight times faster than its population over the past three decades, contributing to inadequate service provision and high levels of social marginalisation, particularly in the metropolitan periphery. To ensure that the region remains competitive and grows sustainably over the long term, this review recommends (i) improving workforce and economic development outcomes, particularly by raising the level of low-skilled workers; (ii) guiding urban growth more effectively to tackle urban sprawl and improve serve delivery; (iii) and addressing governance challenges by building capacity in the public sector and transitioning to forms of metropolitan governance.

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Economic, urban and social challenges in Puebla-Tlaxcala

This chapter assesses the major economic, urban and social challenges facing Puebla- Tlaxcala. The first section examines demographic and economic trends of Puebla- Tlaxcala, illustrating the region’s dynamism relative to other OECD metropolitan areas. The second section characterises the labour market and business environment. The third section assesses Puebla-Tlaxcala’s performance as regards human capital, skills, educational infrastructure and innovation. The fourth section examines urban and environmental challenges facing the region, with a particular look at urban sprawl, housing, transport, air quality, water and waste management. The fifth section assesses evidence of social marginalisation and territorial inequalities in terms of access to public services and infrastructure. Finally, the sixth section outlines key governance challenges facing the region, pointing to capacity gaps at subnational level, administration and institutional fragmentation, and outdated and ineffective co-ordination tools.


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