RELEASE: WRI Mexico, Citi Foundation Launch ‘TheCityFix Labs Mexico’ to Promote Investment in Green Infrastructure in Mexican Cities
MEXICO CITY (November 7, 2018) – WRI Mexico, as part of its work with the Financing Sustainable Cities Initiative (FSCI), funded by Citi Foundation, launched TheCityFix Labs Mexico to create and strengthen innovative financing mechanisms for green infrastructure projects.
The Labs, following the model of a similar initiative launched in India last month, opened with a call for project submissions from across the region and convened local representatives and private sector stakeholders. WRI staff will work with green infrastructure projects that need assistance crafting sustainable business models, that are likely to be financed through a combination of public and private efforts or resources, and that help transform Mexican cities into more sustainable places.
The Labs invite private sector and government participants from municipalities of more than 100,000 residents to register their urban green infrastructure projects for consideration. Projects should be related to water management, solid waste management and energy efficiency in the built environment.
“Finance is fundamental to the management and sustainability of public policies,” said Jaime Gallo, President of the Mexican Association of Municipal Planning. “In most cases, municipalities have very limited public finances, and although there are initiatives promoting green infrastructure, the lack of resources demerits the possibility of achieving them. We want initiatives for the development of green infrastructure in Mexico to have greater impact.”
Ultimately, five projects from around the country will be selected to receive tailored assistance and access to potential investors for implementation, overcoming traditional financial barriers. The five selected projects will begin an eight-month incubation process in which they will receive technical assistance from national and international experts with the goal of improving the feasibility and viability of the proposals.
WRI Mexico will use the FSCI business model framework, developed over years of experience working cities to fund sustainable development projects, to help applicants evolve their financial models in relation to investment components, financial products, funding sources and legal arrangements.
Ultimately, each team will present their update project proposal to potential investors. These will be pioneering projects that will help strengthen financing policy schemes for the country in the medium and long term.
TheCityFix Labs are part of the FSCI, a partnership between WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities and C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, supported by the Citi Foundation, to more intentionally drive the market transition toward sustainable investments by combining knowledge-sharing, capacity-building and direct technical assistance to help cities better define and initiate fundable projects.
Adriana Lobo, Director of WRI Mexico, pointed out that TheCityFix Labs is an important platform for sharing experiences among decision-makers and international experts to choose the best financing strategies possible. “We cannot keep up with the pace of our challenges without better financial mechanisms,” said Lobo.
“To build sustainable infrastructure, we need to overcome financing barriers to structure solid and attractive schemes, not only for the public sector, but also for banks and private investors,” said Mariana Campos, Urban Development Manager at WRI Mexico. “It’s about recognizing the co-responsibility of the public and private sectors in building more resilient and sustainable cities”.
For more information, please visit www.thecityfixlabsmexico.org.
About WRI Mexico Ross Center
WRI Mexico Ross Center is part of WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities works to make urban sustainability a reality. Global research and on-the-ground experience in Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Turkey and the United States combine to spur action that improves life for millions of people.
About the Citi Foundation
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation's "More than Philanthropy" approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com.