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Sedatu Promotes Urban Planning Instruments for 14 Municipalities in Yucatán

- May 16, 2024

Mérida is a city with dozens of positive aspects that have made it one of the most coveted places to live in Mexico. However, its rapid expansion puts the quality of life that currently exists at risk. Therefore, it is necessary to implement tools such as Urban Planning Instruments, which will serve as a basis to organize growth, warned Román Meyer Falcón, head of the Secretariat of Agrarian, Territorial, and Urban Development (Sedatu).

The federal official explained that for Yucatán, the implementation of these instruments is being promoted in 15 municipalities, which concentrate most of the state’s population: Chemax, Celestún, Chicxulub Pueblo, Espita, Izamal, Maxcanú, Mérida, Progreso, Río Lagartos, Tinum, Tixkokob, Tekax, Umán, Kanasín, and Hunucmá.

In the case of Mérida, it is a metropolitan instrument, while for the other 14, they are municipal instruments.

“The fact that these instruments are not updated and are not publicly known allows in many metropolitan areas or in some cities, like Mérida, this phenomenon that has been seen in recent decades, which is accelerated expansion… People from other states of the Republic find a better life in Mérida. Mérida is very attractive, it has a very low crime rate, the services are good, but this may have a very limited time.

“The more we urbanize and expand and the more we release land use rights or construction permits, the possibility that this type of life that Mérida has today, which is quite attractive, may be lost,” Román Meyer alerted in an exclusive interview with La Jornada Maya.

The head of Sedatu explained that the more urbanization is promoted in the horizontal sense, that is, within the same city with taller buildings, it is more complicated for municipal governments to provide police, firefighters, garbage collection systems, water supply, electricity, or drainage, among other basic needs.

And this is precisely what the urban planning instruments intend to prevent, which is why Meyer Falcón is promoting the approval of the congruence opinion before the government of Yucatán so that they can be published and become a reality in the state before August.

This is the last effort that Sedatu will make in Yucatán prior to the end of the federal administration on December 1, which coincides with the end of the state six-year term on October 1.

The objective, Meyer assures, is to guarantee that the state governmental authorities will give the green light to the approval and implementation of the 14 instruments that will help to determine land uses, construction permits because they include the criteria for the expansion of urban areas.

Opportunity for Mérida

Román Meyer points out that many municipalities develop under real estate speculation, and this tends to be the common denominator in the decision-making of granting land use and construction permits, which promotes disproportionate and disorderly expansion.

“Do not kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, because if a municipality where there are million-dollar apartments, but does not have the capacity to provide paving or water, it makes no sense. It is not happening to Mérida, but there may come a point where it says ‘I have expanded so much that I can no longer provide water, I can no longer provide drainage,’ that is what we must try to avoid,” argues the federal official.

Álvaro Lomelí Covarrubias, general coordinator of Metropolitan Development and Mobility of Sedatu, agrees that the approval of these 14 urban planning instruments is a golden opportunity for orderly growth of the municipalities, mainly Mérida, where alerts have been raised due to its rapid growth.

“It is a great opportunity for Mérida to stop being, because unfortunately it is, the bad example of what not to do. The investment lots for the state have represented a burden for the issue of urban development, they do not have legal certainty, nor legal support in planning instruments and it has to be broken and one of the things that will break it is the publication of these instruments,” says Lomelí Covarrubias.

The coordinator details that while on average at the national level the population of cities tends to grow by an average of 1.2 percent, in the Yucatecan capital it is growing at rates of more than 6 percent.

“Mérida is the national example of what not to do and it has to do with this urban policy of allowing investment lots, promoting urban expansion, and allowing the occupation of urban voids.”

Sedatu intends to leave this technical legacy to ensure better-planned cities with the lowest environmental impact.

For this reason, they have requested the current acting governor, María Fritz Sierra, to give the green light to the congruence opinions and proceed with their official publication before the administrations, both federal and state, end.

Source: El Universal