Author: Erick Guerra
Este capítulo se enfoca en la relación entre forma urbana, transporte y sustentabilidad. El propósito es ofrecer (1) una revisión teórica de cómo la forma urbana puede inluir sobre la sustentabilidad ambiental, social y económica a través del sector de transporte; (2) un breve resumen de la variación en la forma urbana y el comportamiento de viajes en las ciudades mexicanas; y (3) un esbozo del rango de oportunidades de incidencia para incluir en la sustentabilidad por medio de políticas de uso del suelo y de transporte. La relación entre forma urbana y comportamiento de viajes y la relación entre estos últimos y los resultados sustentables puede ser difusa y lineal. El mismo concepto de sustentabilidad no siempre está bien definido, particularmente en términos de uso del suelo y transporte. Aún más, hay límites en cómo la forma urbana afecta el comportamiento de viajes y la sustentabilidad.
En entornos de alta o muy alta densidad, los cambios realizados en la densidad generarán cambios pequeños sobre el comportamiento de viajes o mejorías en la sustentabilidad. Sin embargo, argumentamos que existen oportunidades para que las ciudades mexicanas sean más sustentables a través de intervenciones en el entorno construido. Para aquellos barrios que cuentan con suficiente densidad y un buen uso múltiple del suelo, enfatizamos la importancia del diseño local, particularmente alrededor de la infraestructura de transporte regional.
This paper examines the relationship between urban form, transportation supply, and individuals' mode choice across Mexico's 100 largest urban areas. After documenting variation in mode choice, urban form, and vehicle ownership, we fit a multinomial logit model to data from 2.5 million commuters who reported a work commute on the 2015 Intercensus. We estimate whether a person commutes by transit, car, or walking/biking as a function of commuters' gender, age, employment status, household income, and seven measures of urban form and transportation supply. Across urban areas, commuters are less likely to drive in dense urban areas where jobs are spatially concentrated jobs and near population centers. Commuters are also less likely to drive in areas with better public transit supply and less roadway. Collectively the measures of urban form are as strongly related to the probability someone commutes to work by car as household income. Population density plays a particularly strongly role with an estimated elasticity four times as strong as recent studies from US urban areas. Taken together, our findings suggest that land use planning and transportation investments can and do influence commute patterns. Recent public policies have almost certainly contributed to increased, rather than decreased driving and associated congestion, pollution, and traffic fatalities.
Urbanization is generally linked to economic growth, and agglomeration economies mean that
people in larger cities are more productive. However, urban expansion is also associated with
congestion, localized environmental damage, and in many countries, deficiencies in
infrastructure and housing conditions. Urban policies worldwide are increasingly based on an
apparent international consensus that urban compactness is a desirable policy goal, for reasons of
environmental sustainability and economic productivity. However, there is almost no evidence
that compact cities are more productive outside of high-income countries, with a productive
service sector. Given that land-intensive manufacturing activities is the economic base of many
cities in Latin America, policies promoting compactness may reduce economic productivity by
constraining expansion. The tensions between environmental, social and economic goals in the
urban policy of countries with rapidly expanding cities has not been sufficiently studied. Mexico
is an ideal case study because of the rapid rate at which cities have been growing in recent
decades. In this report, we examine impacts—both positive and negative—of the way in which
cities have been growing in Mexico. First, we test the relationship between urban form and
economic productivity, testing the hypothesis that growing in a compact manner promotes
productivity. We find that in Mexico, urban sprawl is associated with higher levels of economic
productivity. This finding is counterintuitive and raises questions about the conventional wisdom
related to cities and economic growth. We then examine two of the important ‘costs’ of urban
expansion: transportation and socio-economic segregation. Findings in these cases confirm
expectations that more sprawling cities have higher transportation costs and more socioeconomic segregation. We conclude by arguing that policy makers must at least acknowledge the
tradeoffs between productivity, transportation costs, and socio-spatial structure.
Worldwide, urban policies are encouraging more compact development in cities arguing environmental sustainability and higher economic productivity. However, there is limited evidence for the relationship between urban form and economic productivity outside high-income countries. While we know that workers in larger cities are more productive, existing empirical evidence on the relationship between compactness and productivity is only from high-income countries, with a productive service sector. Given that the economic base of many cities in Mexico consists of land-intensive manufacturing activities, policies promoting urban compactness have potential negative impacts on economic growth by restraining expansion. In this paper we explore the relationship in time between urban form/spatial structure and economic productivity in Mexico, by testing the hypothesis that growing in a compact way is positively associated with labor productivity. That hypothesis is not completely rejected because several measures of urban form are positively correlated with higher levels of productivity, and other measures are negatively correlated. As the principal findings are counterintuitive, they raise questions about what is the accepted knowledge of urban growth.