Open the street to pedestrian and bicycle to allow habitants to reclaim their city!

Date: 02 Apr 2016
Cat: Civic actions, Mexico

Just before the Semana Santa (or Eastern celebration in English), which is truly followed by Mexican as unswerving church people, Urbanovacion was at Monterrey to meet few actors of Urban Mobility.

Before getting deeper, here is a brief overview of Monterrey:

  • Demography:
    carte monterrey

It is an industrial city with more than 3,5 millions inhabitants (including the suburban area).
It is the 3rd most important city of Mexico.

  • Economy:
    Sin título

It is a powerful economic center of Mexico with lots of national and international companies as Alfa, Banorte (Bank) , Cervecerias, Alstom… Monterrey has also benefited from its location. The city is surrounded by mountains with lots of minerals. Therefore, the multinational Cemex has set up its headquarter there.

  • Organization:

Monterrey is very close to the US.
Their organization is pretty similar to the Houston’s one with several economic centers and suburban areas with individual houses. They went for an horizontal expansion or Urban Sprawl.

  • Public mobility system: :
    Sans titre

As we noticed, their public urban mobility is pretty poor with buses systems and 2 lines of metro. Until now, Monterrey was organized around several economic center and suburban areas connected by huge highways. You can find roads with 7 to 8 lanes inside the city itself!

  • Transport culture: Monterrey’s culture regarding cars is very similar to the Americans one. Car is related to a social status and they are not yet ready to join the movement: “Stop having, start sharing”(Alejandro Martinez, Chief Executive Officer and Co Founder en Hello Cities & Hello Cities Lab). As Juan Manuel Núñez Nieto (Program Manager, Start-up Studio) was mentioning, “I love to ride. I got my driving license at 16 and since then, I am always riding. I don’t feel like stopping ridding”.

So far Monterrey is not hit by the traffic as Mexico City. However, it is the most polluted city of Mexico and as an emerging city traffic is also growing.

Slowly people are started to rethink about their mobility and promising projects are coming up! However, before rethinking about their mobility, some projects are focusing on allowing people to reclaim their city: Open Street. To move together, they have to know and love their city and most important to know each other: from an individualist culture to a collective culture!

A concrete project of open-street in Monterrey : San Pedro de Pina


The concept:

  • It is a Sunday program which was launched by the municipality of San Pedro in 2011.
  • Streets are closed to the automotive. It allows pedestrians and bikes users to reclaim the city.
  • Lots of events are organized each week:
  • Sports event : Taichi, Yoga, Zumba
  • Cultural events
  • Eco-friendly events
  • Local market where local products are sold
Sans titre

Where: 5 kms of streets are dedicated to this project at « Calzada del Valle » (one of the most beautiful place of San Pedro’s municipality)


  • Quantitatively : each Sunday between 8000 to 10 000 people are joining the event.
  • Qualitatively :
    • Habitants re-discover their city and get to know each other.
    • They realized it is possible to bike or walk even with their climate.

And this project has emulators; 2 other projects of open-street has been implemented in Monterrey for the past 4 years : Apocada de PaseoVive tu ciudad Guadalupe.