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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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Policies to guide urban growth more effectively in Puebla-Tlaxcala

This chapter begins by assessing the evidence of urban sprawl in Puebla-Tlaxcala, followed by an analysis of its causes and consequences and concludes with a series of potential strategies for better managing urban growth. Factors in Puebla-Tlaxcala contributing to the development of urban sprawl include, inter alia, rising incomes, lower transport costs, federal housing policies and limited municipal capacity for land-use planning. Meanwhile, its consequences are evident in terms of increased traffic congestion, higher costs for infrastructure provision, inadequate service delivery, increasing environmental pressures and significant intra-metropolitan territorial inequalities. Strategies for guiding urban growth more effectively include: i) linking opportunities for land use and transport; ii) tackling the vacancy problem; iii) developing tools to balance the costs and benefits of development; iv) building municipal capacity for planning and land-use management; and v) applying a metropolitan lens to urban planning challenges and solutions.

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