It is a huge challenge for the municipal government to increase the supply of housing, mobility and employment in the city.
After one year in office as mayor of Mérida, Renán Barrera Concha affirms that population growth in the city is one of his administration’s main challenges, since he estimates that 25 to 30 thousand people come to live in the Yucatan capital every year from other parts of the country or abroad.
Given this situation, he said that his administration analyzes how to increase the supply of housing, mobility and employment in the city, since he stressed that in the last 80 years, the state capital went from 250 thousand to one million inhabitants.
He pointed out that there is an offer of up to four thousand new homes, most of them located in the north-west and north-east of the city. Therefore, the City Council works on a plan to redensify the downtown area and attract new inhabitants to these areas again, since traditional colonias and subdivisions are becoming empty.
Barrera Cocha said that authorities are seeking to mitigate the “donut effect” that is registered in Mérida, since the perimeter is becoming more populated and people is moving further and further away from the center, in addition to the fact that, the territory has already reached the borders with other municipalities.
“What this urban development program seeks is that the city center can be redensified and repopulated. That means we have to come up with a little bit more aggressive urban development policies, ” the mayor said.
The plan to attract the inhabitants to the center contemplates the development of other housing concepts such as townhouses, vertical developments, mixed use edifices, that allow commercial and residential uses in the same building.
The areas with the greatest new housing offer, range from the Francisco de Montejo subdivision towards Dzityá, Komchén, Sierra Papacal, in the northeast side of Mérida. Likewise, a strip that goes from Las Américas to Ciudad Caucel, an area that borders with the municipality of Ucú. On the east side it goes from the Los Héroes subdivision to Calle 50, in the south of the city.
“There is an increasing interest of investors to buy property within the urban area, something that certainly helps us to guarantee the quality of life of citizens,” Barrera Concha said.
He added that those who are coming to live in the downtown area are mainly people who are looking for a place to retire (many of them from the United States, Canada and Europe), and others who are looking for a place to invest or open a business.
In the last seven years, about 500 properties have been acquired by foreigners. Most of these houses were in an advanced state of abandonment in the historic center of Merida. And now these buildings are remodeled, mostly for residential use, according to city council data.
Mayor Renán Barrera concluded that it must be understood that the city has become much more dynamic in recent years, and that is why more and more people is coming to live here every year.
The Yucatan Times Newsroom with information from Ayuntamiento de Mérida