The organization of land and the administration of land use are fundamental means by which government ensures the health, safety, and welfare of citizens. Planning in periods of rapid growth is particularly difficult in that there must be a balance between meeting near-term needs and achieving long-term goals. The continued strengthening of cross-border economic relationships and development of energy resources in Tamaulipas have created such a growth situation.
The Ciudades Integrales document is the result of a request from the Governor of the state of Tamaulipas – México, Edigio Torre Cantú, to identify the best urban planning and design practices that can help the border communities of Tamaulipas become more socially inclusive and fair, more economically competitive and prosperous, and more environmentally safe and healthy. The title, Integrated Cities, reflects the position that urban areas are complex systems and that successful placemaking involves understanding the ways in which each individual feature affects and is affected by other features. Accordingly, the report is organized in two parts. The first part establishes a framework for understanding relationships for urban planning and design and identifies critical issues for towns and cities in the Tamaulipas-Texas Border region. The second part documents projects from Texas (and, in a few cases, beyond Texas) that offer lessons to improve the built environment. Projects are catalogued around six principles for Integrated Cities: urban form, economy, transportation, infrastructure, ecology and open space, and equity.
Spanning the two sections is a recognition of the impact that urban planning and design can have on communities. Instrumentally, a plan is a response to a problem. A plan, though, is more than simply the means to an end. Culturally, a plan is an expression of a relationship between people and place. In this light, planning is aspirational. It is the hope that this report will inspire conversations and reflection among the people in Tamaulipas about the relationships they want to have with their cities.