Skip Content

Mexico's Megalopolis as a Model for the Key Role of Watershed Protection to Sustainable Cities

This project combines expertise in UK and Mexican universities/ NGOs with that of in-country stakeholders to determine how endemic grassland and forest can be sustainably managed for watershed provision in four major urban centres which form a megalopolis in Central Mexico, namely Mexico City, Puebla, Toluca and Cuernavaca which supports 30 million people.

Mexico City, Puebla, Toluca and Cuernavaca form a megalopolis that supports 30 million people. In this project, the key research issues to be addressed are:

1) to establish the 2 status and trends of both the native grassland/forest cover (1950s to present) in terms of distribution and species composition in the 350,000 ha of volcanic montane watershed;

2) to analyse the relationship between changes in this watershed ecosystem and hydrological balance, in particular as related to aquifer recharge;

3) to analyse the impact of different management policies and practices carried out by indigenous communities and municipalities;

4) and to propose robust scientifically-based guidelines for sustainable long-term native grassland/forest watershed management, to promote urban resilience and serve as a global model.

Principal Investigator: Dr Diana Bell, University of East Anglia

Co-Investigator: Professor Roger Few, University of East Anglia

Project part of

Cities & Infrastructure

The Cities & Infrastructure Programme funds interdisciplinary research projects that address the challenge of creating and maintaining sustainable and resilient cities, with the aim of informing relevant policies and interventions in developing countries.


We foster international collaboration in the humanities and social sciences, and promote the sharing of international perspectives on global challenges.

Other projects in this programme