As part of the three-year “Keys in Hand” international cooperation project, the cities of Mexico City, Puebla and Guanajuato welcomed a week-long French delegation comprising Djoudé MERABET, Mayor of Elbeuf-sur-Seine and Vice-Chairman of Sites & Cités, Richard TYLINSKI, municipal councillor, City of Draguignan, Cécile PARIS, elected representative for heritage and archives, City of Dinan, and Flore SCHEURER, urban planner, and a member of the French delegation. Cités, Richard TYLINSKI, municipal councillor for the city of Draguignan, Cécile PARIS, heritage and archives councillor for the city of Dinan, Flore SCHEURER, urban planner and territory manager for Bordeaux Métropole, Jacky CRUCHON, urban planning and heritage expert, as well as members of the Sites & Cités team, Marylise ORTIZ, director of Sites et Cités and Meisi MUÇA, in charge of Heritage and International Cooperation.

PUEBLA: February 15 and 16

The French delegation was warmly received at Puebla’s Palacio Municipal by Adán DOMÍNGUEZ SÁNCHEZ, Mayor of Puebla, María Fernanda HUERTA LÓPEZ, City Councillor for Infrastructure, Mobility and Public Services, María Isabel GARCÍA RAMOS, Municipal Manager of Puebla, and Berenice VIDAL CASTELÁN, Head of the Historic Centre and Cultural Heritage.

22 specialists and local representatives were invited to take part in the days of information and exchange on heritage, citizen participation and mobility. Visits to the historic center of Puebla provided an opportunity to learn more and see first-hand experiences.

GUANAJUATO: February 17 and 18

The city of Guanajuato, set in a narrow valley at an altitude of 2,000 m, is also on the World Heritage list. Masked by remarkable colorful architecture, an immense labyrinth of tunnels offers the city an incomparable form and network of mobility.

The wealth of this city was shared through enlightening visits and exchanges. What is the future of the historic center and its tourism? How can we mobilize citizens to preserve and promote our heritage? How does a city like Guanajuato, surrounded by mountain ranges, manage its growing tourism and all the phenomena that go with it? Mobility, water distribution…?

These were the questions addressed by :

  • Ivan Rivelino MORENO GALVÁN, General Manager, Environment,
  • Patricia Elain SANCHEZ STEVENSON, Managing Director, Social and Human Development,
  • Héctor Javier MORALES RAMÍREZ, Chairman of the Municipal Water and Wastewater Board,
  • Alejandro BARBARINO SOSA Director General for Transition, Mobility and Transport,
  • Jesús Antonio BORJA PÉREZ, Director General of Culture and Education.

MEXICO CITY: February 19, 20 and 21

The mission ended in Mexico City, with the aim of discussing initiatives, actions and strategies in France and Mexico in the fields of urban development, tourism and historic centers.

In the capital, the delegation met with :

  • Jorge ORTEGA GONZALEZ, Director of the Association of Mexican World Heritage Cities, and Luis Alberto PÉREZ RODRÍGUEZ,
  • Loredana MONTES LÓPEZ, Director of the Mexico City Historical Center Trust,
  • José Luis ZALVIDAR OLIVARES, General Director of Tourism and Economic Development, Xochimilco.

Anabelí CONTRERAS JULIÁN, in charge of promotion and dissemination at the Mexico City Historic Center Trust Fund, presented a highly innovative program: a school for citizen participation in safeguarding the historic center!

In 2009, local residents asked the Trust Fund for a space where they could learn about the many ways to rehabilitate and maintain the world’s largest UNESCO-listed historic center.

The Escuela de Formación Ciudadana y Planeación de Barrio was created with the aim of “promoting, through theoretical and practical elements, the participation of citizens in the public affairs of their environment”.

Today, the school provides tools that reinforce informed participation through workshops on topics such as the historical and administrative evolution of the historic center, participatory mapping, citizen participation, heritage conservation and participatory planning. Another of the school’s aims is to encourage closer ties between public and private institutions that facilitate or collaborate with citizens’ proposals, strategies or projects for improving the historic center.

With architect Javier OLMOS MONROY, several visits were organized to present the restoration and enhancement of buildings such as the Church of Notre-Dame de Lorette and the Mexican Society of Geography and Statistics,

We were also able to discover the tourist facilities of the Xochimilco lagoon and the Templo Mayor archaeological site.

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