TheCityFix Labs México Holds Second Workshop in Cholula, Highlighting the Importance of Identifying Potential Sources of Funding
On July 4, representatives from each of the seven TheCityFix Labs México projects gathered at the University of the Americas in San Pedro Cholula, Puebla, to discuss financing mechanisms for sustainable infrastructure projects. TheCityFix Labs is an initiative of WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, with support from the Citi Foundation, designed to help cities prepare, finance and implement sustainable urban projects.
During the workshop, project representatives participated in case studies to deepen their understanding of available funding and financial mechanisms that might be suitable for each project, assessing the technical requirements needed for implementation, and investor rate of return. The project sponsors also studied social, political and institutional considerations for project development.
In opening remarks, Emma Stewart, Director of Urban Efficiency and Climate at WRI Ross Center, noted that “Together we must demonstrate that cities are investment-worthy and that sustainable projects are higher quality assets. We can do that through various means, including technical robustness and financial de-risking, but also by quantifying co-benefits and showing how total cost of ownership decreases during the project’s life, to increase the business case.”
Polióptro Martínez, Director UNESCO Chair on Hydrological Risks, helped kick off the session. Five of the project teams participated in person. This included Alejandro López and Humberto Ramírez on behalf of a water treatment and reuse plant in San Andrés de Cholula, Puebla State; Alberto Carmona Velázquez, Alberto García Tenorio and Edgar Centeno Martínez from the Schools for Climate Program in Guanajuato State; Mónica Pacheco, Juana Osorio and Víctor Moreno from the Mexico City Bosque del Chapultepec project; César Barrios and Andrés Gerardo Aguilar from Parque Cancún green space project; and Said Chuc from the Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems project in Mérida, Yucatan. Additional representatives from the municipality of Cholula attended the workshop, including Moisés Coyotl, secretary of urban development; Roberto Maxil, public works councilor; and Arturo Ramos, secretary of agricultural development. Representatives from the Los Cabos and Hermosillo projects participated via conference call.
Each workshop will be hosted in the projects’ home cities, providing the opportunity for rotating targeted and localized technical assistance. Given the location of this workshop, specialized mentoring was provided to the PTAR Cholula project.
In addition to discussing financial structuring, the project sponsors provided updates from their respective projects and received feedback from SVX Invest for Impact and El Buen Socio, who facilitated the workshop and led the technical activities.
At the end of the workshop, the projects were assigned activities to complete and explore before the next workshop, scheduled for August 30th in Guanajuato, which will address cost estimating and financing models.