Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Urban Economies
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Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Urban Economies

Edited by Peter Karl Kresl and Jaime Sobrino

In this timely Handbook, seventeen renowned contributors from Asia, the Americas and Europe provide chapters that deal with some of the most intriguing and important aspects of research methodologies on cities and urban economies.
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Chapter 13: The limits of environmental management in the Mexico megacity: the air pollution case

José Luis Lezama


The main purpose of this chapter is to provide an analysis of the air pollution policies for Mexico City. It aims at establishing some of the main causes of the government strategy’s failures and successes in dealing with air pollution. From this perspective, the chapter shows some of the institutional and structural factors behind the failures and that explain the limits of the policies and programs put into practice in the metropolitan area of Mexico City, or the Mexico Megacity, since 1979, when the government intervention to abate air pollution started in a more professional way. But the chapter also recognizes the factors explaining the relative success of the policies. It is shown that most of the factors of the abatement of the atmospheric pollution in this important region of Mexico have to do with technical measures, mainly improvement in fuel quality and in antipollution technology in cars and industry. Even so, air pollution in Mexico City still remains a severe problem of public health. To correct this situation, deeper efforts must to be made in the social factors related to air pollution, including institutional changes, and sectoral coordination among crucial areas of public administration, such as energy, industry, transport and urban planning.

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