An engaged Team and Local Stakeholders drive the City's transformation
From the 18th until the 27th of May, the MGI Site Visit to Saltillo took place. Catalina Díaz, global coordinator of the MGI, and Gabriela de Valle, local coordinator of the City Lab, met with the IKI Alliance Mexico at their annual event organized in Mexico City.
Afterwards, the City Lab Team met in Saltillo for a week of work. The mayor of the city and his administration got involved in the implementation of the two projects developed within the MGI project. City Lab coordinator Jose Ordonez conducted capacity building seminars on energy and greenhouse gas emissions modelling, closing a successful week of work in our partner city.
The Pilot Projects in Saltillo
The Water Sector Project
Two pilot projects have been selected for implementation within the City Lab Saltillo, which deal with climate change mitigation and adaptation. The first project consists of the restoration and incorporation of Blue-Green Infrastructure (BGI) into the urban space through nature-based solutions. The goal is to prevent floodings while collecting rainwater in floodable green spaces, which enable water infiltration to the aquifers of Saltillo and help to cope with water scarcity. That is one of Saltillo´s greatest challenges given its location in the desert of Coahuila.
The Energy Sector Project
The second project is the awarding of best practices in Energy Efficiency for Saltillo´s Industry. Globally, energy efficiency is the most important strategy to reduce energy and greenhouse gas emissions. It enables an energy system development in-line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. With over 40 industrial parks, Saltillo´s CO2 emissions are largely determined by its industrial emissions.
The project aims at reducing emissions and raising consciousness among the most relevant segment for climate change mitigation. The multiple benefits of saving energy beyond environmental protection are to be showcased as well. Those additional benefits include reduced energy bills, increased industrial competitiveness, and the creation of employment, among many others.
Read more on the MGI pilot project in Saltillo:
Mexico City: IKI Mexico Annual Meeting
The visit started in Mexico City with the annual meeting of the IKI Alliance Mexico on Thursday, May 19th. Representatives from each IKI project discussed current topics of climate action in the country and exchanged experiences and challenges of their project in thematic focus groups.
“It was a great opportunity to learn from each other’s experience.”, states Catalina Díaz, who was part of the focus group Transport and Cities. “We identified common difficulties and reflect on the possible solutions. Also, we highlighted the importance of addressing cities holistically, not only integrating transport but also climate change, policies, energy, and other IKI thematic areas.”
Saltillo: Identification of Implementation Sites
A core activity of the visit was the identification of potential implementation sites for the pilot project in Saltillo on Tuesday 24th and Wednesday 25th. The City Lab team selected three out of ten potential sites for the implementation of the project on nature-based solutions within the urban area of Saltillo.
The team was composed by Jose Antonio Ordonez from Fraunhofer ISI, Catalina Diaz from University of Stuttgart, Gabriela de Valle and Carmina Villarreal from IMPLAN Saltillo, and Eduardo Santillan Gutiérrez from Tecnológico de Monterrey. Roberto Castaneda from IMPLAN Saltillo conducted the technical analysis, thereby proving a sound technical foundation for the site selection.
“We selected the sites based on a georeferenced spatial data considering the risks of flooding, the existence of suitable green areas in proximity and a high population density” explains Jose Ordonez.
Gabriela adds: “It’s important that the pilot project showcases the benefits and gain social acceptance, paving the green way for replicating these actions in a large scale setting.”
Meeting with Saltillo’s Mayor
In a meeting with the new mayor José María Fraustro, the team presented the results of the City Lab process. The mayor assured his complete support of the project to the local team and initiated the collaboration of various departments of the municipality, such as public works, the environmental division, and urban planning department.
“The city is starting to integrate the City Lab results as a cross-cutting topic to its development vision. Their appropriation of the project is the main driver of a successful implementation of the pilot projects and the sustainable urban transformation of Saltillo in the long run.”, says Catalina.
The municipality of Saltillo will not only support the implementation process but will also take care of its maintenance and replication in other areas of the city once MGI finishes the project. In this meeting, the technical aspects of nature-based solutions were clarified by Eduardo Santillán from Tecnológico de Monterrey.
Activities for climate change mitigation
Presentation of the second pilot project
With a presentation of the mitigation pilot project, the site visit came to a successful conclusion. The project foresees the introduction of Annual Awards for Best Practices of Energy Efficiency in the Industrial Sector in the city of Saltillo, with the potential of scaling it up to state or regional level. The project design document, developed by energy experts Maria Elena Huertas and Jose Ordonez from the City Lab Team, was handed over to the Mayor of Saltillo and the Energy Cluster, who were highly interested in the project and committed to carrying out and the implementation of the project.
Additionally, Jose Ordonez provided a capacity building on the modelling of the energy profile of Saltillo with the software LEAP. With this model, emission sources and adequate mitigations measures can be identified. “The resonance was highly positive and the participants of the public, private and academic sectors showed much interest in the topic. We are happy to see stakeholders from different backgrounds coming together for this type of activity.”, explains Carmila Villarreal from IMPLAN Saltillo.
“The site visit was a huge success. With the selection of the implementation site, the presentation of the City Lab results to the mayor, and the capacity building activities, we accomplished important milestones in the project. I am very happy about the positive response and full engagement of the municipality working hand in hand with the local team in Saltillo.”, concludes Catalina Díaz.