How can social housing in Mexico be better connected to economic opportunity? How can abandoned developments be revived? How can troves of untapped housing and development data be used to benefit Mexican citizens?
Over 30 MIT faculty, students, and staff from five departments participated in a one-day workshop with members of the Infonavit Board of Directors to explore these questions and more. Infonavit is a Mexican quasi-governmental agency that holds approximately 70% of the country’s mortgages and is the largest mortgage fund in Latin America. The all-day workshop was an important step in a rigorous exploratory process around how Infonavit, a current member of the MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism, can better contribute to a more sustainable urban future in Mexico. Infonavit’s Business Sector Directorate has been leading the agency’s engagement with the CAU.
The fall 2015 workshop incorporated a series of faculty presentations and facilitated discussions on three key issues for the future of cities in Mexico – revitalizing abandoned space, improving infrastructure and urban service provision, and holistic planning for long-term sustainability. This exchange of information and forum for interdisciplinary conversations spurred individuals and teams to develop research proposals for Infonavit funding consideration. The proposal development and prioritization process will continue this winter, with funded projects kicking off in 2016.