The urban areas and anthropic activities will expand and with this there will be a significant reduction in primary vegetation, which is important for rain water capture and sustaining the existing biodiversity.
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The diversity of species in the region will be seriously threatened. On the other hand, speculation will intensify involving the real estate of ejido lands and chinampa areas, with a view to urbanization and the creation of irregular human settlements. It appears that the hydrological conditions of the lake system will continue to be maintained artificially, by refilling with treated water from treatment plants. The levels of the water surface will continue to decrease, owing to an increase in cracks and fractures caused by the continued extraction of subterranean water.
In addition to this, productive farming activities are experiencing greater economic losses from traditional crops; producers will thus be forced to eliminate environmental care in favor of business improvements; and urban tourism will become a greater threat for ecosystems and agriculturally productive areas, favoring urban populations over environmental considerations such as factors of scenic and natural importance.
These and other human activities generate significant problems in terms of the loss and alteration of biological diversity, water contamination, deforestation, soil erosion and changes in the hydrological balance of the basin of the Valley of Mexico. In , a management plan was published for this region, declared as a natural protected area. Besides this, a Program was created called Funds for Environmental Conservation and Rural Development as well as the Integrated Program for employment aimed at environmental conservation and the efficient use of natural resources and promoting agro-ecological activities for the entire Federal District.
Also in , environmental regulations were published establishing the conditions for ecological agriculture. In , the Program for agricultural production free from agro chemicals and transgenic was published, as well as the program for urban development in Xochimilco-Tlahuac.
In , the Law for Sustainable Rural Development in the Federal District was published, where the Ministry for Rural Development and Equity for the Federal District Communities is deemed responsible for implementing a policy of government support for the promotion of back yard agriculture and ecotourism.
In our analysis, we found that the concepts of complex strategic social and economic development of Mexico City are often treated as static documents, that are adopted once and for all and which do not require constant work for their renewal, supplementation, clarification and correction.
These consist of: 1. Activities for reversing the hydro-geological deterioration of the wetland and chinampa zone; 2. Considering Xochimilco-Tlahuac as a cultural landscape relic and conserving the surroundings by means of projects designed for the rescue, conservation and promotion of ecotourism in the chinampa and wetland zone; 3. Rescuing the chinampa zone by promoting and supporting agricultural production with limited ecological impact and with increased profits; 4.
Improving the urban structure to permit greater mobility of citizens by improving connections with the rest of the city; 5.
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Establishing a system of geographical information relating to the zone, which will permit increased efficiency in the public administration of the Federal District Government concerning area management and in terms of planning methods for decision making concerning public policy implementation for regional urban agriculture. For instance, the accelerated changes in the area should be characterized by the construction and rehabilitation of water reserves and canal systems as a substantive part of the strategy for the re-establishment of agriculture. The urban part of the zone will gradually organize itself according to its extended capacity for providing networks of public services.
The articulation of combined schemes supporting rural development in the Federal District will permit the producers to gradually increase their capacities and current levels of production. Payment for environmental services will help promote initiatives for innovating technology and for supporting productive processes. The potential for eco-agro-tourism will permit the generation of an important social product having impact on local, as well as national and international tourism, thus increasing the possibility of added value offering high quality and standards in terms of tourist services.
This is a priority area for the sustainable management of water and biodiversity. Concerning the recuperation of areas with greater environmental value, the sustainable management of water and the lake system of Xochimilco-Tlahuac should be based on the preservation of the hydrological cycle. Water management implies reversing the trend towards a hydro-geological deficit, in order that the sustainable hydraulics of the lake system should stabilize. Thus it is necessary to support projects which take advantage of rain water, by providing containers for collection of runoff from the upper parts of sub basins in order to channel water into the system, before it reaches the urban zone and disappears into the drainage system.
Finally, concerning payment for services and environmental products in order to compensate costs of conservation, this conservation and restoration of the agro-ecosystems of Xochimilco-Tlahuac must be ensured, guaranteeing the continued environmental services for the inhabitants of Mexico City. In the peri-urban agricultural areas, these social conditions cause problems such as; contamination from waste water, irregular human settlements and alterations in the regional landscape and tourism resources.
Thus, the agroecosystems of Xochimilco-Tlahuac offer recognized environmental and social benefits which are important for Mexico City, but whose current use seriously threatens urban sustainability.
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The benefit of the project consists in promoting the idea that in terms of planning, urban agriculture should not result in agricultural land becoming part of the regional real estate market and for the benefit of micro basins; there should be investment in infrastructure for environmental projects and production, as well as in long term research and technological development. It is also important to reorient the sense of socio-territorial organization in the area of study, in order to achieve an integrated city, which is habitable and sustainable, by organizing agricultural activities in the rural areas of Mexico City.
Agriculture in urban planning: generating livelihoods and food security /
In the implementation of projects for the development of urban agriculture in Mexico City the availability of an efficient system of governance, providing feedback, is a guarantee for the performance of the decisions made and acquires great importance. This feedback is achieved through the use of instruments for monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of strategic goals and tasks. Regular monitoring should be carried out rigorously along with the obligatory implementation of projects and measures within the framework of the PGDDF.
It was assumed that they would be the basis for managing the districts economy, and would provide the Federal District bodies with the possibility to become aware of a wide circle of problems in the life of Mexico City and of basic sectors of rural production. Statistical data more or less fully presented the state and dynamics of the rural sector of the district economy and environment, and to a lesser degree its social portrait.
Many parameters and methods for analysis were borrowed from the planning practice of territorial units of other levels or were developed anew at high cost in terms of efforts and time.
Agriculture in Urban Planning
The key problems of the long-term development of rural districts must be decided either by the regional link of the system of local government, or by the planning acts of local stakeholders. In this sense, city planning bodies must be able to coordinate the district projects in the interests of the Mexico City as a whole, even in sections of the environmental resources and social capital and infrastructure. Drechsel, P. Practical Action Publishing Ltd. International Journal of Environmental Studies 65 1 , , International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 8 1 , 5 , International journal of water resources development 30 2 , , The global food crisis: Governance challenges and opportunities, , Economic and Policy Issues.
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