In Mexico we rightly complain about the lack of competitions that support urban planning and public works decisions. Part of what is barely democratic in our management of urban space is the lack of adequate planning. The capital of the country and its main cities such as Guadalajara, Puebla and Monterrey, grew exponentially during the second half of the 20th century, due to private-initiative real estate development, not due to a state planning act.
The formula for national urban growth is explained in a simple way: the population began to migrate en masse from the countryside to the city mainly due to industrialization, the landowners in the vicinity of the cities began to urbanize their land to offer houses to the new settlers, The State supported the private companies with infrastructure, communication routes and means of public transportation, who could not find a house, settled irregularly and thus our metropolises were born.
Perhaps for this reason, nowadays, when the government initiates a major equipment project at the metropolitan level, it frequently resorts to the economic methods and means of private initiative, which are usually discretionary and by definition undemocratic.
It goes without saying that in our country it is very rare to see a coherent master plan supported by the necessary studies and engineering, both governmental and private developers. Perhaps due to their road systems without traffic intersections, the modern developments that were best planned during the 20th century have been the Ciudad Universitaria, Ciudad Satélite and Cancún, curiously in all three cases it is a type of superblock plan, in which vehicular traffic is segregated from pedestrian traffic.
Rotating road system design
The urban concept of a superblock derives from the design of revolving road systems, invented by the German engineer Hermann Herrey in the 19th century. In Mexico they were used on numerous occasions by urban planners such as Domingo García Ramos, José Luis Cuevas and Carlos Lazo.