WIT Press

Urban Planning From A Top-down To A Bottom-up Model: The Case Of Mexicali, Mexico


Free (open access)





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3 - 14




965 kb

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WIT Press


R. Rojas-Caldelas, A. Ranfla-Gónzalez, C. Peña-Salmón, O. Leyva-Camacho, E. Corona-Zambrano


Urban development planning in Mexico begins with the publication of the General Law on Human Settlements in 1976, which sets up several planning instruments to regulate land use and urban development at state, municipal and urban level. Urban planning in the late seventies was characterized by being made by the state, with a rational approach, enforced from a top-down perspective, supported by planning guides made by professional planners and public consultation at the end of plan making. Current urban planning has been modifying its methods to a strategic and communicative model, a bottom-up perspective. The state has been playing a regulatory function and the participation of stakeholders has become a central issue on urban development planning and management. Therefore, this study has two main purposes: firstly, to analyse the evolution of urban planning in more than four decades and; secondly, to present Mexicali city as a good practice case study of the application of the bottom-up planning model. This project shows the changes that urban development has undertaken throughout a strategic planning view, oriented to long term perspective, organized and undertaken by society with collaborative work coming from different sectors: government, private and nongovernmental organizations. The methodology was based on the Logical Framework Approach, working along nine months with thematic groups. The results were integrated in a project portfolio, to be implemented in the short, middle and long term. Lastly, findings show successes in urban development planning and obstacles that society has faced in order to implement development projects within a political municipal agenda.


urban planning, community planning, communicative planning, strategic planning