After a first international mission that aimed to help identify the success strategies of the Urban Plan of the city of Puebla in April 2016; the Municipality of Puebla has called upon INTA for a second international mission requested with the objective to contribute from the international perspective to the process of recovery of the river Atoyac, driven by the current municipal management. For this reason, INTA has mobilized 12 urban planning and land management professionals from 7 countries, who have voluntarily come to Puebla, to contribute and make available to the city their professional skills.
This new mission of INTA is part of our global programme entitled "Cities and Territories in Transformation", which includes a series of international interventions aimed at comparing the recommendations of the New Urban Agenda defined in the Habitat III UN Conference (Quito, October 2016). With this panel, INTA helps the city of Puebla assuming the challenge cities and territories globally have to face: climate change, pollution of water sources and sustainable development. In this way Puebla imposes itself as an original model that serves as experience in a process of urban regeneration.
// You can download the report at the bottom of the page
A political statement : Reality and perspectives for the Atoyac river
According to the United Nations, if governments do not take action by 2030, the planet will have to face a global water deficit of 40% (UNESCO, World Water Assessment Program).
In Puebla, today, demand for water is higher than supply, and there is no balance with population growth, urbanization, food security and energy. This reality is aggravated by the significant contamination of the Atoyac River by untreated domestic, industrial and agricultural wastewaters.
Also, due to the presence of this pollution and due to an extensive use, the present supply from groundwater forces to drill deeper and deeper wells, presenting these to serious risks of contamination. The pollution of the Atoyac River is also already seriously affecting agricultural support, with consequences on the health and economy of the region.
In this scenario, the Municipal Government of Puebla, the Municipal Governments of the Upper Basin of the River Atoyac, the State Governments and the Federal Government of Mexico can not remain indifferent.
Faced with this reality, the City is aware that it has the immense challenge of taking urgent measures, so that the population has access to quality water for consumption, a clean river, unpolluted healthy agricultural products, an competitive economy and public recreation spaces. INTA was able to observe that technical and political actions are being planned which, in the long term, can help to alleviate this problem. It is the message of the 4x4 municipal programme and the studies conducted by the Technical Committee of the Vive Atoyac Committee!
However, these initiatives of the municipality of Puebla might still be insufficient, because the problem goes beyond the administrative boundaries, since it affects the entire Upper Atoyac River Basin.
In its work, INTA has been able to observe the identity of the people with its river, creating a civic consciousness that forces to promote new policies that go beyond the local, state, national and even international level, taking into consideration sustainable development and global warming, which could make the recovery of the Atoyac River an exemplary pilot model in Latin America.
It will be the task of the City of Puebla to promote a dynamic of inclusion of the municipalities and states of the Basin, with the objective of building an institutional base of operation of an intermunicipal nature and thus strengthen this fundamental public mission.
Together, municipalities and the two states have the capacity to claim significant national funds (eg the National Infrastructure Fund or the Emergency Fund) and international funds, with the support of the national government (for example, the United Nations Green Climate Fund), where alone they could not reach them.
At the same time, the municipalities and states united of the Basin can build a coordinated agenda of short, medium and long term, integrating different sectoral policies that are linked to the river, such as social, ecological, green spaces, mobility and urban policies.
Together they can also have a shared “territorial engineering” capable of finding solutions and supporting their implementation in the field of highly complex proposals that solve the depth of the problem.
Coupled with this, recognizing the private sector as a key part of the city, which has a fundamental role to play. Without prejudice to its fair economic objectives and its role as an engine of employment and development, this sector must assume a more active presence in the environmental and urban remediations necessary to save the Atoyac River, through technical and economic public support, which when isolated, each municipality is not able to offer.
In compensation for this effort, the municipalities, together with the support of the State, should promote promotion policies, fiscal benefits and make available technical support in the reconversion of facilities and in the homogenization of standards to be met.
A basic task will be the commitment in environmental education, through workshops, curricular programs at various school levels, with the participation of teachers and family, for collective awareness of the new generations.
For the success of the mission, it is key to integrate the human settlements (colonias) next to the river in the environmental and urban awareness, through participation processes, making them see that the recovery of the river will guarantee them better standards of living in access to uncontaminated water, in health, food, access to a system of green spaces, rebuilding a biodiversity through a green corridor and better mobility.
The political work on the inter-municipal scale, in favor of a recognized value for all, such as water, and the Atoyac River as a collective cultural space, commons that constitutes a State Policy and therefore a challenge for municipal authorities and their citizens for the consolidation of Mexican democracy.
In order to comply with all this, the mayors of all municipalities of the Basin will be convened to approve a consensus for the Atoyac, in accordance with a work agenda, which will allow them to receive the civic support of the two Governors of States, of the national government and, therefore, of international agencies.
INTA sees that an inter-municipal agreement could be the central nucleus for this commitment of public interest. It is clear that municipalities will not lose their skills; The intermunicipal nucleus will provide coordination, overview, integration of policies and scale in order to have access to financial funds and to allow the existence of a strong technical support structure.
|// Download the report (full report in spanish available on demand)|
|// Download the presentation held in Puebla 30 June 2017|