Historic Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative Signed in La Paz, Mexico

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The IDB, the FEMSA Foundation and the International Community Foundation present an action plan to support sustainable growth in La Paz

"The Plan charts a path for La Paz to become an example of urban excellence, both nationally and regionally."

An Action Plan presented today to the Municipality of La Paz proposes a series of strategies to advance orderly and sustainable growth while addressing critical land-use issues such as water management, vulnerability to natural disasters, and the possible use of alternative energy sources.

The Action Plan was created using the Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative methodology (ESCI) developed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The water and land-use infrastructure components for the plan were funded by the FEMSA Foundation and the International Community Foundation (ICF) respectively. The process was conducted in close collaboration with the Municipality of La Paz.

"We are very pleased to deliver the Action Plan to the City of La Paz and appreciate the support from the FEMSA Foundation and ICF," said Ellis J. Juan, General Coordinator for the IDB’s Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative. "The Plan charts a path for La Paz to become an example of urban excellence, both nationally and regionally."

The Action Plan was preceded by a comprehensive diagnosis of 140 environmental, urban, fiscal and governance indicators. The Action Plan includes technical solutions prioritized as a result of an analytical process and a public survey of over 800 local residents.

The Action Plan for the City of La Paz includes the following recommendations for improving the city’s sustainability in the short, medium and long term:

  •     Developing programs that encourage energy efficiency and renewable energies, including pre-investment studies for the construction of a solar power plant.
  •     Ensuring adequate water supply for the City of La Paz and improving efficiency of the water utility, suggesting an assessment of the municipality’s water supplies in the medium and long term.
  •     Developing an early warning system for natural disaster risk avoidance and mitigation, including emergency response protocols by the authorities and alert dissemination. The Plan also proposes the modernization and construction of priority projects for flood protection and maximizing the recreation and water infiltration areas.
  •     Improving mobility in the City of La Paz by developing a master plan for transportation and an urban mobility plan, to modernize and improve public transportation routes. In addition, the plan proposes strategies to adapt pedestrian spaces, mainly those located downtown, to meet the needs of La Paz residents in harmonious ways.
  •     Improving the City’s public finances by updating the land registry system, adopting best practices for reporting the City’s revenues and expenses, and implementing a digitization program in the municipal offices, among other strategies.

“Upon receiving the Action Plan for La Paz this morning, we can wholly and formally embrace the IDB’s Initiative for Emerging and Sustainable Cities, confident of the strong support we will have in our fundraising efforts to further the hopes of a better tomorrow for our home, La Paz,” said Municipal President Esthela Ponce. “We will responsibly and accurately follow through on all the generous and professional recommendations.”

Funding to conduct studies and projects recommended in the Plan of Action for La Paz will be sought from municipal, state and federal governments. The private sector and development banks are also expected to participate.

About the Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative:
The initiative was launched in 2011 by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and targets Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change, Urban Development and Fiscal Sustainability and Governance. The IDB helps cities of Latin America and the Caribbean evaluate their situations in these areas in comparison to those of other similar-sized cities to identify critical problems and courses of action to prepare the region for a sustainable future. The platform focuses primarily on midsized cities that are better positioned to efficiently plan for this growth and adapt themselves to the challenges ahead.

About the FEMSA Foundation:
The FEMSA Foundation is a social investment vehicle that supports both the conservation and sustainable use of water to improve the quality of life in the community through education, science and applied technology.

Through its Sustainable Development of Water Resources initiative, the Foundation funds projects that seek the conservation and sustainable use of water to protect Latin American ecosystems, not only for the present, but also for future generations. It is divided into three programs: Watershed Conservation, Water and Sanitation and Capacity Building and Applied Research. In addition, through the Quality of Life initiative, the Foundation supports projects that improve the nutrition and health of people in our communities. Programs include: Intelligent Nutrition and Physical Activation, Specific Health Strategies and Capacity Building and Applied Research.

About the International Community Foundation (ICF):
The International Community Foundation seeks to inspire international charitable giving by U.S. donors, with an emphasis on Mexico and Latin America in the areas of health, education, and the environment. During the past fiscal year, more than 810 donors collectively contributed nearly $7.2 million to the Foundation to advance our international mission. This year, the Foundation has awarded nearly $4.8 million to 70 nonprofit organizations to fund high-impact programs in the areas of education, environment, health and human services, community development and arts and culture.

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Lisa Moctezuma
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