Here in Mexico urban planning is more of an afterthought. Sure, some good projects are being built but they are often completely privatized, with little or no community involvement in the planning process. Often such impressive projects fail to integrate themselves into the surrounding neighborhoods thus becoming a fortress that separates rather than connects with the areas around the project…….at least in Monterrey. Mexico City is a whole other animal.
Many times these projects are megaprojects with higher residential densities that would normally support public transit but are built to support only the use of an automobile. The end result is an awkward product that feels somewhat soulless. It seems as if the local government approves the project but makes very little in the way of demands as to how the project will impact and integrate into the community.
From all that I can see, a sort of honor system must exist in which it is expected that the developer will comply to all the rules…..though they seldom do. Either that or it is the result of corruption. From my experiences working on the border however I would have to say it is a combination of corruption and incompetence. By incompetence I mean that governments operate in a reactive not proactive mode and do not have the resources or the organizational infrastructure to effectively monitor the realization of the projects being constructed. I would also imagine that there is a breakdown of communication between governmental departments as individual governmental entities tries to jealously guard their information, something that I have had firs hand experience combating from all my years working on both sides of the border.
This of course is all anecdotal and opinion based. I hope to learn more as I further explore issues and broaden my contact with people working in and with governmental planning entities in Monterrey and beyond.