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2. Zapopan EN

Zapopan, child-friendly city : action-research partnership with the Mexican municipal sector

The street as a playground, in an underprivileged neighborhood of Zapopan, Mexico. Credit : Zapopan’s Strategic Projects’ Office

The street as a playground, in an underprivileged neighborhood of Zapopan, Mexico. Credit : Zapopan’s Strategic Projects’ Office


This project is part of an international movement for an inclusion of children’s needs in the planning and management of cities. Led by Professor Juan Torres, the project allows the student enrolled in the Master of Urban Planning at Université de Montréal to take part in multiple participative research activities, in partnership with the team from Zapopan Municipality’s Strategic Project’s Office. The project benefits from the collaboration of Professor Ramón Reyes, from the Department of Urban Planning Projects at the University of Guadalajara, and the financial support of the Direction of International Affairs at the Université de Montréal and the Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Urbanization in the Global South.


The project’s objective is twofold. On one hand, it provides the tool to Zapopan’s mayor’s office in the conception and the implementation of sensible actions, within multiple municipal departments, in order to improve the quality of the children’s urban environment, while encouraging their participation in the process. On the other hand, the project’s approach aims at a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities affecting children’s life addressed by municipalities across Mexico, particularly in metropolitan contexts.

Expected results

At the local level, the project will create a selection of territorial diagnostics and an evaluation of the existing municipal programs. By documenting the collaborative approach, we identify local opportunities for action to improve children’s welfare that can be seized in different municipal context. These scientific results will be transposed into tools (methodological, in support to decision making, etc.) designed, at first, for Zapopan’s municipal administration and, eventually, transposed to other municipalities. Finally, this project includes a professional training in urban planning, enriched by the engagement in an action research in an international context.