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Pollution in Mexico City

Disaster management critical in the world’s megacities

August 16, 2006

Foreign Policy Magazine recently evaluated the ability of megacities to handle disasters unique to their location.


Of the six megacities that were examined, three are currently ICLEI Members – Mexico City (Mexico), São Paulo (Brazil), and Seoul (Korea).


The potential disaster identified for Mexico City was air pollution caused by dirty emissions from older vehicles, the city’s high elevation and its location in a volcanic crater. The evaluation determined that while steps are being taken to control emissions, more drastic measures are needed. (The projected population of Mexico City in 2015 – 20.6 million.)


The potential disaster identified for São Paulo was crime and violence, caused by gangs and the widespread possession of illegal guns. The evaluation determined that the city needs to manage this situation by beginning to regain the public’s trust in the police service. (The projected population of São Paulo in 2015 – 20 million.)


The potential disaster identified for Seoul was overcrowding that is straining municipal resources and making real estate unaffordable. The evaluation determined that the ongoing construction of centrally-planned housing developments in suburb areas is adequately relieving pressure on the capital. (The projected population of Seoul in 2015 – 13.5 million.)


Source: ‘The List: The World’s Megacities’, Foreign Policy, June 12, 2006.

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