Resilience in the new Constitution for Mexico City

On February 5th, 2017, Mexico City approved its first Political Constitution as an autonomous city.  Before this date, Mexico City was a Federal District under control from the central government in several key topics such as fiscal, credit and security policies.  The Constitution is a much-awaited step towards reinforced decentralization, local autonomy and local democracy, giving political adulthood to one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world.

The process for developing the new constitution was launched in 2015 and was unlike any before it. The committee tasked with drafting the new Constitution included representatives from the three major political parties, prominent authors and intellectuals, as well as Mexican representatives of civil society organizations. 

Some of the articles in the new document were “crowdsourced” through a massive online campaign and survey managed by the City Laboratory, a publicly funded office for “civic innovation and urban creativity” and through the platform Change.org. Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera’s office also coordinated meetings with working groups from different sectors, including universities and environmental advocacy organizations. 

The Constitution is made up of 71 articles and mentions resilience in three of its major chapters: social inclusion, territorial management and governance.

Inclusive City

  • Article 11.B.D.6 establishes that the city government shall adopt provisions to guarantee an integral social system, with public policies to take care of individuals, families and communities with a Human Rights and resilience perspective.

Territorial Management

  • Article 16.A.3 says that authorities shall adopt resilient measures against natural phenomena.
  • Article 16.I calls on the city to guarantee the security of the population with measures against its vulnerabilities, preventive policies, resilience and risk mitigation.
  • Article 16.I.f establishes that the city will develop a culture of security and resilience, promoting citizen participation.

Governance

  • Article 60.1 establishes that the city government shall guarantee good administration, openness, integrity, honesty, transparency, professionalism, efficiency, austerity, inclusion and resilience.

The new Constitution also innovates in giving the city an international mandate, established in Article 20, “Global City,” elevating Mexico City’s position as a city of refuge for immigrants. The constitution should be in full effect by December 31st, 2018, but many of its provisions came into effect immediately after its publishing on February 5th, 2017. The inclusion of resilience in the constitution establishes the foundations to continue promoting an inclusive process with different actors that encourages the implementation of activities that contribute to the creation of a fairer and better prepared society to face the challenges of this century, and puts Mexico City ahead of the curve for public urban policy.

Read the full text of the new Constitution (in Spanish) here.

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