While some world leaders deny that our climate is changing, Mexico City is sinking.
Increased heat and drought, exacerbated by the emissions of millions of vehicles in the world’s most congested city, are worsening water shortages in Mexico’s capital. As drilling goes deeper and deeper for more water, Mexico City’s foundation is eroding and causing the city to actually sink—up to nine inches per year in some areas. Climate change couldn’t be more real to Mexico City residents who, even at 8,000 feet above sea level, are seeing its impacts every day: a crumbling sidewalk here, a split in the earth beneath a bus lane there.
Unfortunately, Mexico City is no anomaly. The effects of warming air, intensified storms, and rising seas are already being felt in cities across the globe, more than 90% of which are coastal. In Chennai, India last year, a heavy typhoon caused devastating flooding with an increased intensity that may be the new norm. Rising waters and floods are particularly worrisome for Jakarta, Indonesia, forty percent of which already lies below sea level.
With the U.S. backpedaling on its climate leadership role despite major international agreements already in place, cities are now taking the lead in curbing one of climate change’s biggest culprits: transport, which is responsible for 22% of all energy-related emissions. All over the world, ITDP is working closely with cities that are finding new and innovative ways to boost sustainable transport and reduce reliance on cars. Here are just a few examples:
BRT in the USA
As urban areas grow across the U.S., cities like Boston are turning to bus rapid transit (BRT) systems to efficiently provide mobility to their residents—meaning less cars on the road and fewer emissions. In Boston, ITDP is working with the government to implement a vision for what could be the country’s first Gold Standard BRT.
Less Parking, Less Driving in Mexico City
In Mexico City, the prevalence of easy parking is encouraging driving and contributing to massive congestion and emissions. With ITDP’s support, Mayor Miguel Mancera is now pursuing a sweeping and precedent-setting overhaul of the city’s parking policy—a move that will shift more residents to public transit, reduce pollution, and deliver a crucial new source of transportation funding.