Chapter 8: Urban sustainability and competitiveness: factors defining Mexican cities
‘Sustainable development’ is a term that has gained relevance mainly in the last two decades. The need to take into account activities related to this topic has led to the interest of some governments in designing and implementing public policy along these lines. However, the level of engagement with these topics is diverse and depends on specific factors existing in each country and city. Factors related to the economic situation of the city, the characteristics of its population and the structure and decisions made by people in local government generate different outcomes in terms of public policy (Haughton and Dave, 2004; Robertson, 1999). Mexican cities are also subject to these parameters, and some local governments are working to include sustainable activities as part of their management, but their level of participation is varied. Bearing in mind that ‘sustainability’ is a comprehensive term, where all the sectors of the population are involved and all the productive and social activities are influential, then analysis of the urban competitiveness level is useful. Urban competitiveness deals with the capacity of cities to attract productive investment in a context of balance between economic, social and environmental development. Sustainability is an aspect of the level of competitiveness cities can attain. The objective of this chapter is to identify the factors that characterize cities having activities of sustainable development in order to know what variables make cities more prepared to design and implement sustainable actions in the context of competitiveness in Mexico.
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