Mexico City: referendums, housing crisis & collapsed buildings
Several buildings and homes collapsed during the 2017 earthquake - Photo: Rebecca Blackwell/AP

Mexico City: referendums, housing crisis & collapsed buildings

18/12/2019
09:30
Mexico City
Editorial
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n 2019, the investment in the construction sector fell by 50%, in contrast with 2018

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Mexico City authorities have announced that starting next year, construction projects will have to be approved by authorities and experts, as well as neighbors. The announcement could spark a new housing crisis, especially after it was revealed that in 2019, the investment in this sector fell by 50% in contrast with 2018.

The new measure will apply to any property or building covering 5,000 square meters or more, or in smaller plots where the construction exceeds over 100,000 square meters.

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Until recently, not monitoring the construction industry resulted in the proliferation of unsupervised constructions. This situation that had devastating results, as it would be seen during the 2017 earthquake when a shopping mall and construction projects collapsed. Besides the construction process and structural security, some of the aspects that worry Mexico City inhabitants are the social impact these projects will have on the neighbors since they are the ones who will be affected in regards to services such as water or mobility.

More than referendums, the law must be enforced, moreover, polls are subjected to accusations of lack of representativeness, opacity, or obscure motivations. Furthermore, logic indicates that the answer provided by the population when asked if it approves of large constructions, the majority will reject the project. With these new measures, almost no large projects will be approved, in the case that popular opinion is respected and beyond any explanation, justification, conference, or talk the construction company might organize.

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All these might spark speculations about the projects that are in fact approved by society and will push people to question the referendum and the validity of its results, sparking claims about obscure reasons behind the approval. This is why, as in the case of any referendum, transparency and trust will be essential to validate the collective decisions.

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