The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Emerging and Sustainable Cities (ESC) initiative directly supports governments in the development and implementation of urban sustainability plans and uses a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to identify, organize and prioritize urban actions to tackle the main roadblocks preventing the sustainable growth of emerging cities in Latin America. In 2016, NADB teamed up with IDB to introduce the program to Mexican border communities and selected Hermosillo as the first candidate. Once the program is successfully implemented there, NADB plans to replicate it in other communities throughout the border region. The border research institute, Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF), is overseeing this project and is working with the consultant firm, IDOM Ingeniería, S.A. de C.V., which was contracted to perform the baseline studies.
The two-stage, five-phase ESC methodology was launched in August 2016, with the support of 97 government, academic and community stakeholders, who met to provide information on the main opportunities and challenges facing the community in a wide array of sectors, as well as the plans, programs and projects proposed to address them. Based on the results, 127 indicators were identified, quantified and ranked—ranging from water services, waste management and vulnerabilities to natural disasters to social services, economic development and municipal finances, among many others. In addition, a general survey to determine the infrastructure priorities of the community was conducted, and the results are being included in the final report, a draft of which is currently under review.
In conjunction with this effort, the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) has launched a study entitled “Rethinking Hermosillo – Future Vision of the City,” which consists of an urban analysis of the city to identify individual projects that can be developed and executed in the short and medium term. The results will serve to complement and help guide Hermosillo’s action plan in the areas of urban development, housing and land use, as well as create a vision for the future and redirect the transformation of the city towards sustainable development environmentally, economically and socially. Upon completion, the study will be turned into a course entitled, “Emerging Urbanism: Designing Visions for the City of Hermosillo, Mexico,” which will be offered at Harvard in the 2017 summer semester.