Latin America & Caribbean » Mexico » Mazatlan

Mazatlan urban pattern required shift
  Mazatlan is a medium size city of 400.000 inhabitants. Expected to be 750.000 in 15 years. Explosive rates of growth.

Future is threefold: 1) Tourism, from US and Canada, with a naval component as the gateway to California gulf, 2) Agro-food industry for the US market and 3) logistics turntable, as the new inbound superhighway to Durango opens up Mexico north and across to the Atlantic.

The city has grown north along the bisector axis between port and seacoast: The Mexico 15 road converted into the main urban axis. National rail tracks, parallel to the sea, have played a role of cutting knife rather than backbone. That has to change if Mazatlan wants to join the group of developed cities. Actually disjointed incrementalist, privately provided, public transport responds mainly to demand. Limited supply rationale. Car ownership has, and will grow from 16.000 in 1970 to close to 600.000 in 2023: 36-fold.

The city must think now in Metropolitan terms. Prepare its future. Time has not yet come for a train service. Rail tracks are thought immense asset that has to be exploited for population's benefit. Now they are in hands of powerful economic lobbies. It could could support as a start an LRT service. Intermodal Centralities with BRT and Bus feeding routes would provide access to the coastal tourist centralities and inland social housing estates. Densities developed according to transport accessibility. Urban centralities can house social and economic facilities. The urban system will grow into a full-fledged structure, as Curitiba, with a long-term vision.

Future of Mazatlan might be brilliant, provided social resources and intelligent Governance conveys the required metropolitan process.