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    065735

    Population growth and policies in mega-cities: Mexico City.

    United Nations. Department of International Economic and Social Affairs. Population Division

    New York, New York, United Nations, 1991. vi, 34 p. (Population Policy Paper No. 32; ST/ESA/SER.R/105)

    This review of elements affecting the population policy of Mexico City, the largest city in the world, is part of a series on formulation, implementation and evaluation of population policies of mega-cities as they follow the World Population Plan of Action of the UN World Population Conference, 1984. The main sections of the report are demographic factors and projections, economy, strategies of decentralization, issues and sectors, and resources and management. Mexico city is expected to have 27 million in 2000. Growth by migration accounts for doubling every 20 years, as natural increase declines. While Mexico City's economy has in recent decades grown because of industrial development, in the future increasing proportions of people will work in the informal sector. Air pollution, the worst documented in the world, due to photochemical smog, and traffic congestion are the city's most serious issues. These are being addressed by a contemplated retro-fit of automobiles with pollution control devices, state bus lines and a metro system. Decentralization has been approached by the National Urban Plan of 1978 and the National Development Plan of 1983-1988 among other efforts, but lack of a central authority, and the failure of the government to respond to the 1985 earthquake by relocating housing cost doubt of the likelihood of results. Counteracting systems such as subsidies for water, food electricity and diesel fuel for urban residents, and inadequate tax incentives for companies moving elsewhere are also in effect. Land speculation combined with illegal settlement of communal lands have hampered planning, but the earthquake cleared extensive areas for parks and low income apartments. Water supply is another major problem, with per capita usage equal to U.S. levels because of losses from the aging system. Health care and other services are allotted mainly on income lines because of political factors. Resources and regulation are in a pitched battle between the Federal District (the City) and Mexico State which soon will make up the majority of the population, but receives poorer services at greater expense relative to the City.
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