A Digital City Rises in Guadalajara

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By Maxwell Williams
Mexico prepares to build up its tech industry.

Billed as a Silicon Valley for Mexico, Guadalajara’s Ciudad Creativa Digital (CCD) was conceived in 2009 by ProMéxico to jumpstart the homegrown tech industry. MIT oversaw master planning for the project in 2012, and construction began shortly thereafter. Its first phase, initially expected to be completed in 2019, will include an incubator for small businesses and university projects, an exhibition space, and an overhaul of Morelos Park. Seven years on, the project has hit a few snags: Construction struck water, and CCD had to return $1.75 million to Mexico’s National Institute of the Entrepreneur (INADEM) for noncompliance. But that’s par for the course, says Jesus Alvarez Felix, a PhD student at MIT who has been involved with ProMéxico from the beginning of the project. Felix notes encouraging measures taken by Mayor Enrique Alfaro Ramirez, who just returned from a fact-finding mission to the Dublin Digital Hub. "This project has a lot of macro-dynamics on its back," Felix says. "It’s not a matter of things happening in Guadalajara, but rethinking what you can do with the city moving forward." 

A Digital City Rises in Guadalajara - Photo 1 of 1 - MIT created the master plan for Guadalajara’s Ciudad Creativa Digital, which is meant to foster Mexico’s technology sector.

MIT created the master plan for Guadalajara’s Ciudad Creativa Digital, which is meant to foster Mexico’s technology sector.