Air Pollution as a Key Issue in Mexico Caused by Urbanization

This essay sample was donated by a student to help the academic community. Papers provided by EduBirdie writers usually outdo students' samples.

Cite this essay cite-image

Mexico City is located in the center of Central America. It is geographically located in the Valley of Mexico. It has an altitude of 2,240 meters. The city covers an area of around 1,485 sq. km. Its coordinates are 19°25′57.85″N 99°07′59.71″W. Mexico is located in the tropical zone. The high altitude determines the climate of Mexico City. It experiences hot summers and mild winters with an annual average temperature of 18°C. It has small seasonal changes and January is the coldest month and May is the warmest month whilst the most rainfall occurs between June and October.

Reasons for Increased Urbanization

From the 1960’s, Mexico has undergone an increase in urbanization and population growth. The reason for population growth is due to less mortality rates and better health care in Mexico City. Pull factors which draw people towards the city is the amount of jobs that are needed and the need for employment as there is a demand for manual labor and manufacturing jobs which require little skill. A push factor and a reason why people are driven out of rural areas is because of the lack of healthcare resources that are supplied in rural areas. People also leave the rural areas to escape the violent struck countryside which is a reason why Mexico City has doubled in size approximately every 15 years. The Mexican countryside has suffered majorly due to the revolution and World War II. In the 1950s and 60s, there was an increase in rural to urban migration because families were in desperate need for employment, housing, schooling and modern healthcare. During this period life expectancy increased from 51.9 to 63.1 years, and infant mortality fell from 116 deaths per 1000 live births to 73. People move to the city for an overall better quality of life.

Save your time!
We can take care of your essay
  • Proper editing and formatting
  • Free revision, title page, and bibliography
  • Flexible prices and money-back guarantee
Place an order

Air Pollution in Mexico City

A key issue caused by urbanization is air pollution. The air pollution in Mexico City is one of the worst in the world. Their air pollution averages 179mg/cubic meter of suspended particulates which is above the 90mg maximum recommendation. The main cause of pollution is the exhaust gases of the city's 3 million cars. Auto mobiles account for 90% of the air pollution and this is a result of urbanization as so many people have moved to one place which caused a spike in air pollution because of the amount of vehicles. This problem is especially bad in Mexico City as it is located in a basin which prevents winds from blowing away the pollution which means the smog is trapped above the city. Another contribution to the air pollution in Mexico City is the industrial growth. The pollution caused from manufacturing companies greatly impacts the environment as well as the amount of vehicles.

Mexico City’s Solution to Air Pollution

The air pollution in Mexico City is being somewhat managed by the Mexican government. They have made several innovative proposals for fighting the air pollution. This includes using cleaner fuels in cars and smog control measures. Private car drivers are required to have catalytic converters or refrain from driving one day a week. This strategy bans drivers from using their vehicle one weekday on the last digit of the license plate and if they are found driving on their given day, they are fined. Pollution fighting measures, which were put in place in the mid-1990’s, have already improved Mexico city’s visibility and air quality. Environmental initiatives include having cleaner taxis and small buses which will hopefully reduce urban emissions, improve environmental infrastructure and strengthen the border regions’ environmental planning. In March 2016, Mexico City had an air pollution alert which they had not had in 11 years. During the previous car-reduction trials, cars could earn exemption stickers after passing tests to ensure they were low enough emission, but many people bribed sticker distributors making the program ineffective. Instead of driving bans, the government is encouraging a city-wide program, where drivers are taxed from driving on major roads during peak hours.

The Effectiveness of the Strategy

The car reduction strategy is somewhat effective, but it will be hard for people to not use their cars for one day. People will then use public transport, which will cause large crowds and increase public transport ridership. Public transport in Mexico City is widely-available and cheap but it is very slow and crowded which is why many Mexico City residents choose private vehicles. There is also no evidence that the program has improved the air quality. The strategy is economically viable as it means more people are buying tickets to ride public transport and it is sustainable as it is also decreasing traffic within the city. It’s also cost effective because transport in Mexico City is affordable for all social standings and it doesn’t cost the government much, but it will mean they need to improve their public transport systems to make them more inviting for people travelling on the public transport and they will need to have more public transport to reduce crowding in the stations. This may affect the air pollution though, because more transport will have the same effect as having more cars on the roads. The increase in tolls will help the reduction in air pollution as it makes it less desirable to drive and cheaper to take public transport. Although this is a new strategy and hasn’t got enough evidence to support the statement, it theoretically would decrease the amount of cars on the roads and decrease the air pollution.


  1. Air Pollution in Mexico, 2000. Viewed 24 February 2020.
  2. Davis, L., 2017. Saturday Driving Restrictions Fail to Improve Air Quality in Mexico City, Scientific Reports. Viewed 24 February 2020.
  3. Hinckley, S., 2016. How Mexico City Plans to Fight Air Pollution. Viewed 24 February 2020.
  4. McGrath, M., 2017. Car Ban Fails to Curb Air Pollution in Mexico City, BBC News, Viewed 24 February 2020.
  5. Mexico City, 2020. Migration into Mexico City. Viewed 24 February 2020.
  6., 2020. Mexico Geography. Viewed 24 February 2020.
  7. Rural to Urban Migration, 2019. Viewed 24 February 2020.
  8. The Guardian, 2019. 'Just leave': Delhi, Beijing and Mexico City Residents on How to Cope with Pollution. Viewed 24 February 2020.
Make sure you submit a unique essay

Our writers will provide you with an essay sample written from scratch: any topic, any deadline, any instructions.

Cite this paper

Air Pollution as a Key Issue in Mexico Caused by Urbanization. (2023, January 31). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 30, 2024, from
“Air Pollution as a Key Issue in Mexico Caused by Urbanization.” Edubirdie, 31 Jan. 2023,
Air Pollution as a Key Issue in Mexico Caused by Urbanization. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 30 May 2024].
Air Pollution as a Key Issue in Mexico Caused by Urbanization [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Jan 31 [cited 2024 May 30]. Available from:

Join our 150k of happy users

  • Get original paper written according to your instructions
  • Save time for what matters most
Place an order

Fair Use Policy

EduBirdie considers academic integrity to be the essential part of the learning process and does not support any violation of the academic standards. Should you have any questions regarding our Fair Use Policy or become aware of any violations, please do not hesitate to contact us via

Check it out!
search Stuck on your essay?

We are here 24/7 to write your paper in as fast as 3 hours.