The process continues before the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), to appoint Mérida as a Smart City.
“From the Merida City Council, we have a firm commitment to continue advancing as a city that responds to new and unprecedented challenges, such as the one we are experiencing today due to the crisis caused by COVID-19”, stressed Mayor Renán Barrera Concha.
Barrera Concha noted the above in the framework of a virtual meeting with María Paloma Silva De Anzorena and Mauricio Bouskela, members of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) because Mérida was the only city in the country selected by foreign consultants, along with the City Council, to carry out a diagnosis and identify challenges and potentials to advance on the road to becoming a Smart City.
He indicated that in view of the circumstances the City is going through, technological tools and the digitization of its processes have played a relevant role in making timely decisions to move the municipality forward.
In this context, María Silva congratulated the City Council for the measures undertaken to combat COVID-19 and for making use of digital tools to inform the population about the progress of the pandemic, as well as to maintain its online services so that citizens can carry out their procedures without leaving home.
In response, the Mayor emphasized that the City Council is making its greatest effort and using creativity to promote the development of the Yucatecan capital.
“That is our firm commitment to the citizens entrusted to us by the municipal administration, which is why we are very pleased that they have chosen us to continue and strengthen the process that allows us to become a Smart City,” Renán Barrera continued.
He also noted that the good relationship between the City Council and the State government is fertile ground to continue promoting the development of Mérida and strengthen the process that allows it to migrate to Smart City, as requested by the IDB.
He stressed that the city stands out for its stability, sense of belonging, and social cohesion, characteristics that underpin municipal work to improve in all aspects and factors that are taken into account to become a Smart City.
The mayor recalled that the Smart City concept refers to a city that applies information and communication technologies (ICT) with the aim of providing it with an infrastructure that guarantees sustainable development, an increase in the quality of life of citizens, greater efficiency of available resources and open governance.
—It is not just a technological infrastructure project, but to use the information to make decisions, to respond more efficiently to needs, to communicate to the population, to make processes more transparent, among many others, and that is in what we work in this Town Hall — explained Barrera Concha.
He remarked that a sample of the above has occurred now, with the technological tools and programs made available to citizens during the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Mauricio Bouskela who is a Senior Specialist in the Housing and Urban Development Division of the Inter-American Development Bank, expressed his interest in supporting Mérida through a methodology that allows the city to improve its degree of maturity, as well as understanding what its main axes are, its strengths and weaknesses on its way to becoming Mexico’s only Smart City.
—To apply our methodology, we initially had a proposal of 15 cities in the world, and after an exhaustive analysis we selected seven, and in the case of Mexico, the only one was Mérida, which stands out for its potential to convert all its qualifications and projects. from Smart City —Bouskela explained.
He pointed out that among the aspects or dimensions that were analyzed and allowed Mérida to stand out are the environment, mobility, economy, security, lifestyle, and education.
Likewise, he congratulated Renán Barrera for maintaining close coordination with the State Government to promote joint programs that benefit the entire population.
The Mayor reiterated his willingness to work closely with the IDB and the state government on this issue.
He emphasized that in Mérida the use of technology has been privileged in the development of public policies, creating a collaborative digital strategy and agenda, with objectives and scope related to the proper use and exploitation of information and communication technologies, promoting the development of a society that is constantly growing.
He noted that Mérida’s progress in this regard is the result of the coordination of various directorates, including Information Technology, Urban Development, and the Municipal Planning Institute.
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