The heart of Mexico City, where the most important and extensive monumental complex in Latin America is located, was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1987. Since August 14th 2001, this space came to life once again. On that date, thanks to the proposal and determined participation of the society and non-governmental organizations, with the support of the federal and local governments, the Consultative Council for the Recovery of the Historic Center of Mexico City was integrated. Carlos Slim Helu was appointed president of the Council, and Jose E. Iturriaga (†) lifetime honorary president.
For the first time, a project not only contemplated the recovery of buildings and urban spaces to counter the effect of decades of neglect and degradation, but also —and most importantly— the social aspect was instated as a key factor in the development of the project. The needs, desires and improve conditions of its inhabitants, users and visitors, gave the regeneration project a wider concept.
Programs for building restoration, urban regeneration, and provision of public services were put in place. Also, the electrical grid and telephone network were modernized; in addition, roads and the public lighting system were renovated. For visual purposes, billboards were removed and signs in awnings were regulated.
Security and vigilance also had a central place in the project, for which specific programs were created. Other programs covered renovation and diversification of land use, stimulating the area’s repopulation and housing occupation.
Private investors allocated a significant amount of resources to lay the foundations for the economic recovery of the area, which resulted in the generation of several thousand new jobs, an indispensable condition for a new social and community development.
Several actions and instruments were designed to stimulate the regeneration process, such as tax incentive packages, a real estate company, and publications to publicize cultural wealth of the area and disclose the project’s progress.
The Foundation for the Historic Center of Mexico City (La Fundación del Centro Histórico de la Ciudad de México A. C., FCHCDM) emerges as an indispensable complement to support the economic and social regeneration of the area. The Foundation has achieved significant advances thanks to its constant work with the community and inter-institutional linkage. The establishment of strategic alliances and collaboration programs with public and private institutions — such as Carlos Slim Foundation, Telmex Foundation, the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and the University of the Cloister of Sor Juana, among others — has been fundamental to achieve the goals of the project.
Nowadays, the Foundation for the Historic Center of Mexico City continues contributing to the resolution of specific problems in the social environment of the heart of the capital city, and identifying actions that allow sustaining the change and growth processes that began with the current millennium.