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The New Political Constitution of Mexico City

In 2017, the Municipality of Mexico City publicly presented a document entitled the Political Constitution of Mexico City to address the prospective challenges of the city’s evolving political climate. In 1997, the first elected mayor of Mexico City, Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Solórzano, was voted into office. For the 20th anniversary of the first democratic municipal election of what was then the Federal District of Mexico, a team of multidisciplinary experts was commissioned by the municipal government to develop a policy recommendation document for a progressive and democratic policy plan. This new “constitution” redefines the City’s social policy and context for the future of both the city and its inhabitants. The concept of a Constitution of Mexico City has reflected a deep shift in how we understand the political process and governance of urban subjects.

The Lab for the City (LabCDMX) participated in the creation of the Constitution by developing a digital platform that would act as a forum for citizen collaboration. This platform was called Plataforma Constitución CDMX and became a crucial tool that allowed the government to collect, analyze, systematize and make transparent the opinions and contributions of every citizen participating in the drafting of the Constitution. The creation and subsequent use of the platform has become a paragon of urban democracy and is a reflection of the City’s progressive governance structures. The Plataforma forms part of the Open Government strategy established by the LabCDMX to explore new ways of generating dialogue between civic society and municipal authorities. Given the success of this citizen participation project, the platform will certainly lay the foundation for future governance projects and foster the development of new approaches to the formation of a city.

The New Political Constitution is a milestone for Mexico City as it represents a whole new chapter in the creation of urban spaces in Latin America. While Mexico City is among the oldest capitals in the continent, the Constitution is the youngest in Latin America to tackle themes of urban, social and economic justice for future municipal administrations. In the recent decades, the City has established itself as a federal entity capable of legal self-determination while simultaneously representing an avant-garde perspective on fundamental rights, such as the right to the city, sustainable development, marriage equality, reproductive rights, intercultural understanding and hospitality, among others. The Constitution is an achievement that reflects the rich history of our capital and the resiliency that our society has developed.

Project name Proyecto para la Constitución política de la Ciudad de México
Period 2017
Author Working Group for Elaboration the Draft Constitution
Contributor Civil Society, Legal and Legal Services (CEJUR),, Interdisciplinary Professional Unit of Engineering and Social and Administrative Sciences, Institute of Youth, MIT Media LAB
Contributor CDMX
Location Mexico City