Home Columns Merida Yucatan’s Journey of Transformation

Merida Yucatan’s Journey of Transformation

by Yucatan Times
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The State of Yucatan is located southeast of the Mexican Republic, in the northern part of the Yucatan Peninsula. It is bordered to the north and west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the southeast by the state of Quintana Roo, and the southwest by the state of Campeche. Most of its territory is a plain made up of limestone rock. Its territorial extension is 39,524 km2 (15,260.30square miles). It is made up of 106 municipalities, and its capital is Merida.

By 2024, Yucatán will have close to 3 million inhabitants, of which the city of Mérida will account for approximately 45 percent. The Yucatecan capital has grown so much that it currently occupies almost 900 square kilometers. Consider the following: At the beginning of the 19th century, the area occupied by Mérida within the territory of Yucatán was only seven square kilometers.

The growth of the city towards the north began in the mid-’90s and early 2000s, with developments such as Francisco de Montejo in its new stages, Las Americas, various residential developments in Temozon Norte, and subdivisions such as Cocoyoles, as well as new private residential developments such as Cabo Norte by La Isla mall or Altosano, to name a few.

By 2015, growth had detonated and was even more accelerated. Residents from different parts of Mexico and the world began to move to the city of Merida, changing the urban environment of the Centro Historico – it is essential to mention that Merida’s Centro Historico is only surpassed in size by Mexico City’s – with the remodeling of beautiful colonial homes, as well as a new demand for housing in neighborhoods considered old and returning to their former splendor, such as Garcia Gineres or Itzimna, for example.

Growth also spread to the west of the city with urban infrastructure development via residential settlements for families with greater purchasing power and the opening of broad and extensive highways. New shopping centers, hotels, and businesses of various types, including universities and private schools, were built. 

In the north of the city, we could see more luxurious subdivisions and gated communities where “clusters” of foreigners -not Yucatecans- have been forming, such as the Yucatan Country Club, winner of multiple awards for the beauty and functionality of its design.

We cannot forget that the first residential and sports complex for families of a higher socioeconomic level was the golf club “La Ceiba,” the first gated community in the whole Mexican southeast, in the 70’s, being the first real estate development to be built on the outskirts of the city of Merida, when the henequen activity -even though it was declining- was still significant.

Currently, Merida and the state of Yucatan maintain a good record in terms of public safety. The Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (Sesnsp) once again placed Yucatan as the safest state, with a rate nine times lower than that registered at the national level, recording a rate of 14.79 crimes per 100 thousand inhabitants, a product of the enormous efforts of Governor Mauricio Vila Dosal and former Mayor Renan Barrera, to preserve the peace and security indexes in the entity.

What is coming for Yucatan and Merida in 2024?
– There will be even more significant growth in population and real estate projects. This may cause severe problems with water, energy, security and traffic, among others.

– Merida is currently one of the five most expensive cities in Mexico and will continue to rise. Salaries are not proportional to the increase in cost of living.

– Difficult elections. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s ruling party, MORENA, will try to win the governorship of the state of Yucatan. It is worth mentioning as background that all the states where the ruling party governs are the most violent and with the highest presence of organized crime.

Enormous changes are must certainly coming for Yucatan and the city of Merida. The most critical question that remains in the air is: Are our authorities prepared for it?

For Times Media Mexico / The Yucatan Times
José E. Urioste
Merida Yucatan, Mexico
January 05 2024

José E. Urioste is a Yucatecan businessman well-known for his expertise in Marketing Research, Business Intelligence, and Finance, boasting an impressive career spanning over 25 years and a member of multiple boards of directors. Throughout the last two decades, he has contributed significantly to mass media as an editorialist or providing insightful commentary on various subjects. He has been a radio host specializing in political analysis. Beyond his media engagements, José is a published author, having penned three books on relevant topics.

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