Mexico City, City of Design

Nominator : Secretaría de Cultura de la Ciudad de México

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Mexico City has transformed into a world-renowned centre of art and a hotspot for creativity. The constantly growing and developing megalopolis, now home to 25 million inhabitants, has been celebrated for its innovative approach to design after being awarded the title of Official World Design Capital in 2018. Widely acknowledged as lever for social, economic and cultural change, design and creativity are at the heart of the city's social development strategy. Currently the design industry generates US$ 41.93 billion of the city's total income and employs 68,254, generating career opportunities as well as US$229,134 in turnover.

The city is world-renowned for its array of design festivals, including the Abierto Mexicano de Diseño (Mexican Open Design), Design Week Mexico and City Mextrópoli. Mexico City identifies multi-stakeholder approaches as key levers in promoting design-driven action for the city. One example is the Mapatón project; the world's first crowd-sourced public experiment to help the local government map city bus routes. Coordinated by Lab for the City, residents, academics and games creators joined forces by designing an app that encouraged citizens to win prizes whilst mapping their own routes.

In 2013, a government experimental and creative office named Laboratorio para la Ciudad (Lab for the City) was established, becoming the very first programme of its kind in Latin America. It was set up with the aim of addressing social and urban issues through a creative, transdisciplinary and participatory lens. This initiative emphasises Mexico City's commitment to empower its citizens and give them an active role in shaping the city. The expected long-term mission of the Lab is to fully integrate creativity as a driver for the regeneration and development of sustainable urban living, with residents being empowered to contribute and work with the government in designing the city’s future.

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