The Key to Safe Streets: Five Cities Humanizing Street Design

Three Great Streets from Mexico City’s Centro Histórico

Eve Critton
May 30, 2019
May 30, 2019

Every time we visit Mexico City, we are reminded that it has one of the most passionate and sophisticated public space conversations in the world. Public space plays a regular role in political discourse, and an energetic younger generation of placemakers like our partners at Lugares Publicos are bringing global influences and local communities into the mix. It was no surprise to us that last year the continent-wide Placemaking Latinoamerica network held its annual conference in Mexico City.

The city’s streets are no exception, particularly in the main historic district, which has seen a vast and progressive transformation in recent years. From heavy crime and local neighborhood corruption to difficult mobility for pedestrians and cyclists, this neighborhood was problematic for residents and tourists alike. A combination of progressive government efforts focused on enhancing street life and promoting opportunities for economic development, and private efforts led in part by billionaire Carlos Slim Helú, have begun to change the landscape of the Centro Histórico. Like most communities, Mexico City still has a long way to go, but these three great streets showcase a promising new direction.

1. Calle Regina, Mexico City, Mexico

Photo Credit: Gonzalo Barragán

The transformation of Calle Regina from a hotspot of drug-related crime to a “cultural pedestrian corridor” helped kickstart a wave of other investments in Centro Histórico. Read more.

2. Avenida 16 de Septiembre, Mexico City, Mexico

Photo Credit: Video still by Protoplasmakid

This comfortable, social, everyday street in Centro Histórico demonstrates that a street doesn’t have to be a top tourist destination to warrant pedestrian priority. Read more.

3. Calle Francisco I. Madero, Mexico City, Mexico

Photo Credit: Protoplasmakid.

An incremental campaign to pedestrianize Calle Madero helped convince even skeptical business owners of the value of putting people first in the heart of the city. Read more.

Submit Your Own Great Street

Anyone can submit their own favorite street to our Great Public Spaces database, and we want to hear about yours! Simply visit the database homepage and click the “Nominate a Great Place” button.


Eve Critton
Eve Critton
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The Key to Safe Streets: Five Cities Humanizing Street Design