In this contribution, urban competitiveness and sustainability are linked to urban planning and alliances. This is examined in a context in which a premium is placed on development of innovative industries during the two decades 1993-2013. Innovative industries are, of course, those that are dependent upon knowledge, learning and technology, with less reliance on traditional capital and labor. In Mexico, traditional manufacturing and innovative industry grew similarly during 1993-2008 but in the final period 2008-2013, innovative industry stagnated. However, while innovative industry growth slowed in the largest cities, it experienced a substantial growth in smaller cities, especially those that are in proximity to larger cities that give access to an airport. Furthermore, the aeronautics industry develops city-university-enterprise networks, while other industries such as automotive goods tend to function more in isolation. Obviously the spread effects throughout a region are greater in the former than in the latter industry. The innovative industries, such as aeronautical, are most closely linked to their regional social legal, and environmental structures.