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Status of a New Value Capture Tool in Mexico City

El Sistema de Actuación por Cooperación

David Leipziger

January 2021, English

Growing cities in Latin America are expanding their urban footprints at the expense of central cores. The result strains public resources, and local governments increasingly pursue strategies to enable denser, infill development. Mexico City recently developed a new planning tool to facilitate such development: the Sistema de Actuación por Cooperación (SAC), a tool designed to supersede existing zoning conventions in order to intensify development and fund community projects. The SAC functions by providing project-specific benefits to developers in exchange for a fee paid into a publicly held trust to fund community-oriented infrastructure. To date, the city has initiated the SAC tool in six neighborhoods; however, the process and progress of each case are poorly understood. This case study examines how the SAC has been designed and used to date. The evidence suggests that the SAC is a powerful tool that can accelerate large-scale infill development but struggles to secure funding for local public benefits.


Community Development, Economic Development, Infrastructure, Urban Development