With a population of almost 120 million, Mexico is the most populous Spanish speaking country in the world. Greater Mexico City is home to more than 21 million people, with a population density more than five times that of New York. Nationwide, there is an estimated deficit of 9.6 million homes. The Ecocasa Programme, established in 2012, has to date built 9,000 energy-efficient homes.
As well as helping families save around US$200 annually on energy bills, the houses help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 per cent compared to conventional homes, using insulation in ceilings and walls, reflective paint, efficient gas heaters, efficient refrigerators and energy-saving windows.
Mexico is addressing the urgent need to make its cities more sustainable, having made a dramatic commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 50 per cent below 2002 levels by 2050. Given a Lighthouse Activity award by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and winners of the 2015 Ashden Award for Sustainable Buildings, EcoCasa aims to reduce about one million tonnes of CO2 in the first seven years and plans to complete 27,600 energy-efficient social housing units by the end of 2019.
Deputy Director Ernesto Infante believes there’s much more to it: “Ecocasa is just a first step to transforming the Mexican housing sector. We are not only focused on achieving environmental benefits, our main goal is to improve the quality of life of the Mexican families.” Expect this fully replicable model to drive future housing initiatives elsewhere.
Chris has been writing on travel, tech, sex, food, art and books for nearly two decades. He co-founded street paper Hecho en Buenos Aires, writes regularly for the Guardian and Telegraph newspapers, and is now writing a thriller set in Andalusia.
Ernesto Infante, Deputy Director, Multilateral Affairs and Housing Market at Sociedad Hipotecaria Federal
Mexico (Mexico City)