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URBAN OUTLOOK The city of Chihuahua has incredible potential, yet unanswered issues are pervasive.

The capital of Mexico's largest state is

Similarly, within its region, Chihuahua

among the country's important

leads its state through relatively

northern cities. Poised to reach a

transparent and democratic

million residents in its metropolitan

governance. The city's stability is not

area by 2021, Chihuahua maintains a

in question, and it remains removed

healthy workforce with promising

from continuous violence and crime.


Despite its success, Chihuahua's

The city has successfully established a

methods of urbanity and perceptions

number of engineering,

of urbanism are being called into

manufacturing, and technology

question and are the focus of this

clusters, fueled by skilled education

preliminary overview.

pipeline programs and friendly

Research has narrowed to understand

business climates.

Chihuahua in three problem areas:

Chihuahua continues to be well connected to the rest of Mexico and parts of the United States, via modern highways and a modest airport.


Over-saturation of large-scale

commercial developments -

Inadequacy in addressing

stratified development -

Unstable funding procurement

At a Glance: Population: 878,062 within city proper, 918,339 in metropolitan area Human Development Index: .942 Developed Area: approximately 10 square miles, 30 square kilometers Mass Transit: BRT system, one central line Nearest Airport: General Roberto Fierro Villalobos International (CUU)



PROBLEM AREA 1 Chihuahua is experiencing an over-saturation of large-scale commercial developments and properties.

Number of Commercial Projects Currently in Planning or Construction Stages







Whereas construction of commercial properties is usually encouraged in urban areas, Chihuahua has permitted the rapid development of such locations that are shifting towards experiences of consumer fatigue, over-confidence in economic ability, and changing behavior in district desirability. A number of new large-scale malls opening with few stores, and not operating at capacity several months later. Our full study focuses on recent projects Cantera Cinco and Paseo Central (shown at right).



PRELIMINARY REPORT OVERVIEW Medium-scale developments, those

Over-saturation of commercial

ranging from district-focused

projects has left the population

commercial centers to strip malls,

with a high number of empty real

have also saturated real estate

estate, which calls into question

opporunities in favor of cheaper

the city's ability to vet

construction projects in urban zones

contractors on the economic

demanding higher densities. This

accuracy of their project

suggests that Chihuahua is not taking

proposals, as well as the

regulatory action on subsets of the

contractors' abilities to attract

local economy, future district

non-local, transnational, and high

identification, and public need.

demand companies and industry

Such engagement between the local

with their projects.

economy, the municipal government,

The full report utilizes

and urban flows of finance and

methodology that investigates

construction identify how urban

construction data, city economic

developers perceive an inaccurate

patterns, and urban migration

sense of Chihuahua's economic

information spanning the last 25

strength. Observable information

years to reach its conclusions

demarcate areas in the city's west,

and make recommendations.

running the length of the PerifĂŠrico de la Juventud thoroughfare (shown below), as highly influential and highly saturated concentrations of urban wealth and desirability.




PROBLEM AREA 2 Chihuahua is reproducing urban marginalization through inadequately addressing economic and social stratification in its urban sectors.

Tied to Problem Area 1, the city of Chihuahua has allowed for investment to concentrate in select areas of the city that remain inaccessible for the majority of its population. While concentrated studies and reports have been released by the city's specialized departments and nondescript research institutions, Chihuahua's planning governance has approved master projects that will reinforce marginalization through privatized efforts while utilizing public funds to benefit such area development. In fact, government supply efforts in Chihuahua fall in line with the majority of other Mexican cities, in which relatively few initiatives benefiting the urban poor come to fruition, or are relegated to secondary priority. Rather, money is spent building infrastructure meant to beautify newly-built and fashionable districts and/or connect them to the city proper. Such projects include the privatization of the future districts surrounding the Tres Presas mega-park project,

effectively reducing democratic access to rare ecological green spaces in the city. Likewise, Chihuahua's master plan for Bรณreal, a large-scale mixed-use project near Tres Presas, as well as the current construction of Altozano Chihuahua, a luxury mixed-use expansion far to the west of the Juventud Periphery, show the city has courted high and upper-middle income developers and neglected working-class neighborhoods and projects, particularly in the city's south and east. When contextualized with empty malls and consumer fatigue of higheconomy projects, the outlook is stratified to a new extreme.


Urban patterns identify that the western districts of the city receive the highest concentration of public and private funds, including foreign investment, transnational presence, and demographic desirability. Select urban districts in the north and central core receive the next highest percentage of the aforementioned engagements. Various urban areas along the length of major north-south corridors like Universidad and Tecnologico, having developed over the centuries, are generally understood and accepted as established neighborhoods with little opportunity for refurbishment or expansion. Districts along the south, and the numerous suburban districts in southwest, north-east, and south-east remain neglected communities. The capital's corridors to its satellite cities and towns remain dependent on transitory economies with little government desire to improve them. Finally, urban-rural merger districts in the north, south-west, south, and east are the most vulnerable, with incomplete infrastructure and unstable services. The full report identifies several neighborhoods in all classifications that researchers consider the most representative of the varying experiences in the city, including Vistas del Cerro Grande (right).




PROBLEM AREA 3 Chihuahua suffers from unstable funding sources on all governance levels, leading to insecurity by investors depending on infrastructural projects.

The final focus area represents a

The city has undergone

common symptom of contemporary

transformations in its history that

Mexican politics, which is the

have been successful, but today's

government's unstable security of

efforts show co-dependent

financial holdings meant for large-

collaborations between the municipal

scale infrastructural projects. While

and state governments with different

the reality is widespread across the

visions, enforcement, management,

county, Chihuahua's various levels of

and juxtaposition(s), particularly when

governance also perpetuate this

contrasted with the federal level.

condition by entering partnerships

Such projects experiencing delays

with ill-vetted non-governmental

include the establishment of a ring-

actors and organizations, by

road highway system, the expansion to

mismanagement of public funds

three central BRT lines (below), and

through corruption and impunity, and

various private partnerships

by varying degrees of dependence on

facilitating megaproject development.

the federal government's agencies involved in development that produce inconsistencies.



How this instability manifests primarily takes one of two forms that the report will classify as (1) aspirational development, and (2) regressive development. Aspirational developments are those projects that remain in a conceptual space, usually deliberated by the government and its affiliated actors, with disagreements, concessions, and negotiations being the central part of the project's existence. Regressive developments refers to the projects that have entered government approval phases, perhaps even having been presented to the public, which then are halted by a reorientation of funds that renders the project underdeveloped. Regardless of situation, both aspirational and regressive developments pose real threats to project stakeholders, in this case, interested private parties dependent on the infrastructural development, and/or conditions previously agreed upon. Given the relationship of power involved in municipal decisions and relations, the report identifies regressive developments as the most frustrating for Chihuahua, as they are both occurring more frequently and they represent a degree of mismanagement by the government that dissuades opportunities for consistent investment.

Profile for IRT - Project Chihuahua

Chihuahua - Spring 19 Overview  

The spring overview of our preliminary report regarding the city of Chihuahua is now available with our larger report details concisely docu...

Chihuahua - Spring 19 Overview  

The spring overview of our preliminary report regarding the city of Chihuahua is now available with our larger report details concisely docu...