Mexico City, or the City of Mexico (Spanish: Ciudad de México, American Spanish: [sjuˈða(ð) ðe ˈmexiko] (listen); abbreviated as CDMX, Nahuatl languages: Āltepētl Mēxihco), is the capital of Mexico and the most populous city in North America. Mexico City is one of the most important cultural and financial centres in the Americas. It is located in the Valley of Mexico (Valle de México), a large valley in the high plateaus in the center of Mexico, at an altitude of 2,240 meters (7,350 ft). The city has 16 boroughs.
The 2009 population for the city proper was approximately 8.84 million people, with a land area of 1,485 square kilometers (573 sq mi). According to the most recent definition agreed upon by the federal and state governments, the population of Greater Mexico City is 21.3 million, which makes it the largest metropolitan area of the Western Hemisphere, the eleventh-largest agglomeration (2017), and the largest Spanish-speaking city in the world.
Greater Mexico City has a GDP of $411 billion in 2011, making Greater Mexico City one of the most productive urban areas in the world. The city was responsible for generating 15.8% of Mexico's GDP, and the metropolitan area accounted for about 22% of total national GDP. If it were an independent country, in 2013, Mexico City would be the fifth-largest economy in Latin America, five times as large as Costa Rica and about the same size as Peru.
Mexico’s capital is both the oldest capital city in the Americas and one of two founded by Native Americans, the other being Quito, Ecuador. The city was originally built on an island of Lake Texcoco by the Aztecs in 1325 as Tenochtitlan, which was almost completely destroyed in the 1521 siege of Tenochtitlan and subsequently redesigned and rebuilt in accordance with the Spanish urban standards. In 1524, the municipality of Mexico City was established, known as México Tenochtitlán, and as of 1585, it was officially known as Ciudad de México (Mexico City). Mexico City was the political, administrative, and financial center of a major part of the Spanish colonial empire. After independence from Spain was achieved, the federal district was created in 1824.
After years of demanding greater political autonomy, residents were finally given the right to elect both a Head of Government and the representatives of the unicameral Legislative Assembly by election in 1997. Ever since, the left-wing Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) has controlled both of them. The city has several progressive policies, such as abortion on request, a limited form of euthanasia, no-fault divorce, and same-sex marriage.
On January 29, 2016, it ceased to be the Federal District (Spanish: Distrito Federal or D.F.), and is now officially known as "Ciudad de México" (or "CDMX"), with a greater degree of autonomy. A clause in the Constitution of Mexico, however, prevents it from becoming a state, as it is the seat of power in the country, unless the capital of the country were relocated elsewhere.
Ciudad de México (Spanish)
La Ciudad de los Palacios
(The City of Palaces)
Mexico City within Mexico
|• Mayor||Claudia Sheinbaum|
|• Capital||1,485 km2 (573 sq mi)|
|Elevation||2,250 m (7,380 ft)|
|Highest elevation||3,930 m (12,890 ft)|
|• Density||6,000/km2 (16,000/sq mi)|
|• Density rank||1st|
|• Urban||20.9 million|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
|Area code||55 / 56|
|ISO 3166 code||MX-CMX|
|Patron Saint||Philip of Jesus (Spanish: San Felipe de Jesús)|
|HDI||0.831 Very High Ranked 1st of 32|
|GDP||USD 411 billion |
|Official name||Historic Centre of Mexico City and Xochimilco|
|Criteria||ii, iii, iv, v|
|Designated||1987 (11th session)|
|Region||Latin America and the Caribbean|
|^ b. Area of Mexico City that includes non-urban areas at the south|
The city of Mexico-Tenochtitlan was founded by the Mexica people in 1325. The old Mexica city that is now simply referred to as Tenochtitlan was built on an island in the center of the inland lake system of the Valley of Mexico, which it shared with a smaller city-state called Tlatelolco. According to legend, the Mexicas' principal god, Huitzilopochtli, indicated the site where they were to build their home by presenting a golden eagle perched on a prickly pear devouring a rattlesnake.
Between 1325 and 1521, Tenochtitlan grew in size and strength, eventually dominating the other city-states around Lake Texcoco and in the Valley of Mexico. When the Spaniards arrived, the Aztec Empire had reached much of Mesoamerica, touching both the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean.
After landing in Veracruz, Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés advanced upon Tenochtitlan with the aid of many of the other native peoples, arriving there on November 8, 1519. Cortés and his men marched along the causeway leading into the city from Iztapalapa, and the city's ruler, Moctezuma II, greeted the Spaniards; they exchanged gifts, but the camaraderie did not last long. Cortés put Moctezuma under house arrest, hoping to rule through him.
Tensions increased until, on the night of June 30, 1520 – during a struggle known as "La Noche Triste" – the Aztecs rose up against the Spanish intrusion and managed to capture or drive out the Europeans and their Tlaxcalan allies. Cortés regrouped at Tlaxcala. The Aztecs thought the Spaniards were permanently gone, and they elected a new king, Cuitláhuac, but he soon died; the next king was Cuauhtémoc.
Cortés began a siege of Tenochtitlan in May 1521. For three months, the city suffered from the lack of food and water as well as the spread of smallpox brought by the Europeans. Cortés and his allies landed their forces in the south of the island and slowly fought their way through the city. Cuauhtémoc surrendered in August 1521. The Spaniards practically razed Tenochtitlan during the final siege of the conquest.
Cortés first settled in Coyoacán, but decided to rebuild the Aztec site to erase all traces of the old order. He did not establish a territory under his own personal rule, but remained loyal to the Spanish crown. The first Spanish viceroy arrived in Mexico City fourteen years later. By that time, the city had again become a city-state, having power that extended far beyond its borders.
Although the Spanish preserved Tenochtitlan's basic layout, they built Catholic churches over the old Aztec temples and claimed the imperial palaces for themselves. Tenochtitlan was renamed "Mexico" because the Spanish found the word easier to pronounce.
The city had been the capital of the Aztec empire and in the colonial era, Mexico City became the capital of New Spain. The viceroy of Mexico or vice-king lived in the viceregal palace on the main square or Zócalo. The Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral, the seat of the Archbishopric of New Spain, was constructed on another side of the Zócalo, as was the archbishop's palace, and across from it the building housing the City Council or ayuntamiento of the city.
A famous late seventeenth-century painting of the Zócalo by Cristóbal de Villalpando depicts the main square, which had been the old Aztec ceremonial center. The existing central place of the Aztecs was effectively and permanently transformed to the ceremonial center and seat of power during the colonial period, and remains to this day in modern Mexico, the central place of the nation.
The rebuilding of the city after the siege of Tenochtitlan was accomplished by the abundant indigenous labor in the surrounding area. Franciscan friar Toribio de Benavente Motolinia, one of the Twelve Apostles of Mexico who arrived in New Spain in 1524, described the rebuilding of the city as one of the afflictions or plagues of the early period:
The seventh plague was the construction of the great City of Mexico, which, during the early years used more people than in the construction of Jerusalem. The crowds of laborers were so numerous that one could hardly move in the streets and causeways, although they are very wide. Many died from being crushed by beams, or falling from high places, or in tearing down old buildings for new ones.
Preconquest Tenochtitlan was built in the center of the inland lake system, with the city reachable by canoe and by wide causeways to the mainland. The causeways were rebuilt under Spanish rule with indigenous labor.
Colonial Spanish cities were constructed on a grid pattern, if no geographical obstacle prevented it. In Mexico City, the Zócalo (main square) was the central place from which the grid was then built outward. The Spanish lived in the area closest to the main square in what was known as the traza, in orderly, well laid-out streets. Indian residences were outside that exclusive zone and houses were haphazardly located.
Spaniards sought to keep Indians separate from Spaniards but since the Zócalo was a center of commerce for Indians, they were a constant presence in the central area, so strict segregation was never enforced. At intervals Zócalo was where major celebrations took place as well as executions. It was also the site of two major riots in the seventeenth century, one in 1624, the other in 1692.
The city grew as the population did, coming up against the lake's waters. As the depth of the lake water fluctuated, Mexico City was subject to periodic flooding. A major labor draft, the desagüe, compelled thousands of Indians over the colonial period to work on infrastructure to prevent flooding. Floods were not only an inconvenience but also a health hazard, since during flood periods human waste polluted the city's streets. By draining the area, the mosquito population dropped as did the frequency of the diseases they spread. However, draining the wetlands also changed the habitat for fish and birds and the areas accessible for Indian cultivation close to the capital.
The 16th century saw a proliferation of churches, many of which can still be seen today in the historic center. Economically, Mexico City prospered as a result of trade. Unlike Brazil or Peru, Mexico had easy contact with both the Atlantic and Pacific worlds. Although the Spanish crown tried to completely regulate all commerce in the city, it had only partial success.
The concept of nobility flourished in New Spain in a way not seen in other parts of the Americas. Spaniards encountered a society in which the concept of nobility mirrored that of their own. Spaniards respected the indigenous order of nobility and added to it. In the ensuing centuries, possession of a noble title in Mexico did not mean one exercised great political power, for one's power was limited even if the accumulation of wealth was not. The concept of nobility in Mexico was not political but rather a very conservative Spanish social one, based on proving the worthiness of the family. Most of these families proved their worth by making fortunes in New Spain outside of the city itself, then spending the revenues in the capital, building churches, supporting charities and building extravagant palatial homes. The craze to build the most opulent residence possible reached its height in the last half of the 18th century. Many of these palaces can still be seen today, leading to Mexico City's nickname of "The city of palaces" given by Alexander Von Humboldt.
The Grito de Dolores ("Cry of Dolores"), also known as El Grito de la Independencia ("Cry of Independence"), marked the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence. The Battle of Guanajuato, the first major engagement of the insurgency, occurred four days later. After a decade of war, Mexico's independence from Spain was effectively declared in the Declaration of Independence of the Mexican Empire on September 27, 1821. Unrest followed for the next several decades, as different factions fought for control of Mexico.
The Mexican Federal District was established by the new government and by the signing of their new constitution, where the concept of a federal district was adapted from the United States Constitution. Before this designation, Mexico City had served as the seat of government for both the State of Mexico and the nation as a whole. Texcoco and then Toluca became the capital of the State of Mexico.
The Battle for Mexico City was the series of engagements from September 8 to 15, 1847, in the general vicinity of Mexico City during the U.S. Mexican War. Included are major actions at the battles of Molino del Rey and Chapultepec, culminating with the fall of Mexico City. The U.S. Army under Winfield Scott scored a major success that ended the war. The American invasion into the Federal District was first resisted during the Battle of Churubusco on August 8 where the Saint Patrick's Battalion, which was composed primarily of Catholic Irish and German immigrants, but also Canadians, English, French, Italians, Poles, Scots, Spaniards, Swiss, and Mexican people, fought for the Mexican cause repelling the American attacks. After defeating the Saint Patrick's Battalion, the Mexican–American War came to a close after the United States deployed combat units deep into Mexico resulting in the capture of Mexico City and Veracruz by the U.S. Army's 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Divisions. The invasion culminated with the storming of Chapultepec Castle in the city itself.
During this battle, on September 13, the 4th Division, under John A. Quitman, spearheaded the attack against Chapultepec and carried the castle. Future Confederate generals George E. Pickett and James Longstreet participated in the attack. Serving in the Mexican defense were the cadets later immortalized as Los Niños Héroes (the "Boy Heroes"). The Mexican forces fell back from Chapultepec and retreated within the city. Attacks on the Belén and San Cosme Gates came afterwards. The treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed in what is now the far north of the city.
Events such as the Mexican–American War, the French Intervention and the Reform War left the city relatively untouched and it continued to grow, especially during the rule of President Porfirio Díaz. During this time the city developed a modern infrastructure, such as roads, schools, transportation systems and communication systems. However the regime concentrated resources and wealth into the city while the rest of the country languished in poverty.
Under the rule of Porfirio Díaz, Mexico City experienced a massive transformation. Díaz's goal was to create a city which could rival the great European cities. He and his government came to the conclusion that they would use Paris as a model, while still containing remnants of Amerindian and Hispanic elements. This style of Mexican-French fusion architecture became colloquially known as Porfirian Architecture. Porfirian architecture became very influenced by Paris' Haussmannization.
During this era of Porfirian rule, the city underwent an extensive modernization. Many Spanish Colonial style buildings were destroyed, replaced by new much larger Porfirian institutions and many outlying rural zones were transformed into urban or industrialized districts with most having electrical, gas and sewage utilities by 1908. While the initial focus was on developing modern hospitals, schools, factories and massive public works, perhaps the most long-lasting effects of the Porfirian modernization were creation of the Colonia Roma area and the development of Reforma Avenue. Many of Mexico City's major attractions and landmarks were built during this era in this style.
Diaz's plans called for the entire city to eventually be modernized or rebuilt in the Porfirian/French style of the Colonia Roma; but the Mexican Revolution began soon afterward and the plans never came to fruition, with many projects being left half-completed. One of the best examples of this is the Monument to the Mexican Revolution. Originally the monument was to be the main dome of Diaz's new senate hall, but when the revolution erupted only the dome of the senate hall and its supporting pillars were completed, this was subsequently seen as a symbol by many Mexicans that the Porfirian era was over once and for all and as such, it was turned into a monument to victory over Diaz.
The capital escaped the worst of the violence of the ten-year conflict of the Mexican Revolution. The most significant episode of this period for the city was the February 1913 la Decena Trágica ("The Ten Tragic Days"), when forces counter to the elected government of Francisco I. Madero staged a successful coup. The center of the city was subjected to artillery attacks from the army stronghold of the ciudadela or citadel, with significant civilian casualties and the undermining of confidence in the Madero government. Victoriano Huerta, chief general of the Federal Army, saw a chance to take power, forcing Madero and Pino Suarez to sign resignations. The two were murdered later while on their way to Lecumberri prison. Huerta's ouster in July 1914 saw the entry of the armies of Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata, but the city did not experience violence. Huerta had abandoned the capital and the conquering armies marched in. Venustiano Carranza's Constitutionalist faction ultimately prevailed in the revolutionary civil war and Carranza took up residence in the presidential palace.
The history of the rest of the 20th century to the present focuses on the phenomenal growth of the city and its environmental and political consequences. In 1900, the population of Mexico City was about 500,000. The city began to grow rapidly westward in the early part of the 20th century and then began to grow upwards in the 1950s, with the Torre Latinoamericana becoming the city's first skyscraper. The 1968 Olympic Games brought about the construction of large sporting facilities.
In 1969 the Metro system was inaugurated. Explosive growth in the population of the city started from the 1960s, with the population overflowing the boundaries of the Federal District into the neighboring State of Mexico, especially to the north, northwest and northeast. Between 1960 and 1980 the city's population more than doubled to nearly 9 million.
In 1980 half of all the industrial jobs in Mexico were located in Mexico City. Under relentless growth, the Mexico City government could barely keep up with services. Villagers from the countryside who continued to pour into the city to escape poverty only compounded the city's problems. With no housing available, they took over lands surrounding the city, creating huge shantytowns that extended for many miles. This caused serious air pollution in Mexico City and water pollution problems, as well as subsidence due to overextraction of groundwater. Air and water pollution has been contained and improved in several areas due to government programs, the renovation of vehicles and the modernization of public transportation.
The autocratic government that ruled Mexico City since the Revolution was tolerated, mostly because of the continued economic expansion since World War II. This was the case even though this government could not handle the population and pollution problems adequately. Nevertheless, discontent and protests began in the 1960s leading to the massacre of an unknown number of protesting students in Tlatelolco.
Three years later, a demonstration in the Maestros avenue, organized by former members of the 1968 student movement, was violently repressed by a paramilitary group called "Los Halcones", composed of gang members and teenagers from many sports clubs who received training in the U.S.
On Thursday, September 19, 1985, at 7:19 am CST, Mexico City was struck by an earthquake of magnitude 8.1 on the Richter magnitude scale. Although this earthquake was not as deadly or destructive as many similar events in Asia and other parts of Latin America, it proved to be a disaster politically for the one-party government. The government was paralyzed by its own bureaucracy and corruption, forcing ordinary citizens to create and direct their own rescue efforts and to reconstruct much of the housing that was lost as well.
However, the last straw may have been the controversial elections of 1988. That year, the presidency was set between the P.R.I.'s candidate, Carlos Salinas de Gortari, and a coalition of left-wing parties led by Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, son of the former president Lázaro Cárdenas. The counting system "fell" because coincidentally the light went out and suddenly, when it returned, the winning candidate was Salinas, even though Cárdenas had the upper hand.
As a result of the fraudulent election, Cárdenas became a member of the Party of the Democratic Revolution. Discontent over the election eventually led Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas to become the first elected mayor of Mexico City in 1997. Cárdenas promised a more democratic government, and his party claimed some victories against crime, pollution, and other major problems. He resigned in 1999 to run for the presidency.
Mexico City is located in the Valley of Mexico, sometimes called the Basin of Mexico. This valley is located in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt in the high plateaus of south-central Mexico. It has a minimum altitude of 2,200 meters (7,200 feet) above sea level and is surrounded by mountains and volcanoes that reach elevations of over 5,000 meters (16,000 feet). This valley has no natural drainage outlet for the waters that flow from the mountainsides, making the city vulnerable to flooding. Drainage was engineered through the use of canals and tunnels starting in the 17th century.
Mexico City primarily rests on what was Lake Texcoco. Seismic activity is frequent there. Lake Texcoco was drained starting from the 17th century. Although none of the lake waters remain, the city rests on the lake bed's heavily saturated clay. This soft base is collapsing due to the over-extraction of groundwater, called groundwater-related subsidence. Since the beginning of the 20th century the city has sunk as much as nine meters (30 feet) in some areas. This sinking is causing problems with runoff and wastewater management, leading to flooding problems, especially during the rainy season. The entire lake bed is now paved over and most of the city's remaining forested areas lie in the southern boroughs of Milpa Alta, Tlalpan and Xochimilco.
|Mexico City geophysical maps|
Mexico City has a subtropical highland climate (Köppen climate classification Cwb), due to its tropical location but high elevation. The lower region of the valley receives less rainfall than the upper regions of the south; the lower boroughs of Iztapalapa, Iztacalco, Venustiano Carranza and the east portion of Gustavo A. Madero are usually drier and warmer than the upper southern boroughs of Tlalpan and Milpa Alta, a mountainous region of pine and oak trees known as the range of Ajusco.
The average annual temperature varies from 12 to 16 °C (54 to 61 °F), depending on the altitude of the borough. The temperature is rarely below 3 °C (37 °F) or above 30 °C (86 °F). At the Tacubaya observatory, the lowest temperature ever registered was −4.4 °C (24 °F) on February 13, 1960, and the highest temperature on record was 33.9 °C (93 °F) on May 9, 1998.
Overall precipitation is heavily concentrated in the summer months, and includes dense hail.
Snow falls in the city very rarely, although somewhat more often in nearby mountain tops. Throughout its history, the Central Valley of Mexico used to have several snowfalls per decade (including a period between 1878 and 1895 in which every single year—except 1880—recorded snowfalls) mostly lake-effect snow. The effects of the draining of Lake Texcoco and global warming have greatly reduced snowfalls after the snow flurries of February 12, 1907. Since 1908, snow has only fell three times, snow on February 14, 1920; snow flurries on March 14, 1940; and on January 12, 1967, when 8 centimetres (3 in) of snow fell on the city, the most on record. The 1967 snowstorm coincided with the operation of Deep Drainage System that resulted in the total draining of what was left of Lake Texcoco. After the dissapearance of Lake Texcoco, snow has never fell again over Mexico City.
The region of the Valley of Mexico receives anti-cyclonic systems. The weak winds of these systems do not allow for the dispersion, outside the basin, of the air pollutants which are produced by the 50,000 industries and 4 million vehicles operating in and around the metropolitan area.
The area receives about 820 millimeters (32 in) of annual rainfall, which is concentrated from June through September/October with little or no precipitation the remainder of the year. The area has two main seasons. The rainy season runs from June to October when winds bring in tropical moisture from the sea, the wettest month being July. The dry season runs from November to May, when the air is relatively drier, the driest month being December. This dry season is subdivided into a cold period and a warm period. The cold period spans from November to February, when polar air masses push down from the north and keep the air fairly dry. The warm period extends from March to May when tropical winds again dominate but do not yet carry enough moisture for rain to form.
Originally much of the valley laid beneath the waters of Lake Texcoco, a system of interconnected salt and freshwater lakes. The Aztecs built dikes to separate the fresh water used to raise crops in chinampas and to prevent recurrent floods. These dikes were destroyed during the siege of Tenochtitlan, and during colonial times the Spanish regularly drained the lake to prevent floods. Only a small section of the original lake remains, located outside Mexico City, in the municipality of Atenco, State of Mexico.
Architects Teodoro González de León and Alberto Kalach along with a group of Mexican urbanists, engineers and biologists have developed the project plan for Recovering the City of Lakes. If approved by the government the project will contribute to the supply of water from natural sources to the Valley of Mexico, the creation of new natural spaces, a great improvement in air quality, and greater population establishment planning.
By the 1990s Mexico City had become infamous as one of the world's most polluted cities; however, the city has become a model for drastically lowering pollution levels. By 2014 carbon monoxide pollution had dropped drastically, while levels of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide were nearly three times lower than in 1992. The levels of signature pollutants in Mexico City are similar to those of Los Angeles. Despite the cleanup, the metropolitan area is still the most ozone-polluted part of the country, with ozone levels 2.5 times beyond WHO-defined safe limits.
To clean up pollution, the federal and local governments implemented numerous plans including the constant monitoring and reporting of environmental conditions, such as ozone and nitrogen oxides. When the levels of these two pollutants reached critical levels, contingency actions were implemented which included closing factories, changing school hours, and extending the A day without a car program to two days of the week. The government also instituted industrial technology improvements, a strict biannual vehicle emission inspection and the reformulation of gasoline and diesel fuels. The introduction of Metrobús bus rapid transit and the Ecobici bike-sharing were among efforts to encourage alternate, greener forms of transportation.
The Acta Constitutiva de la Federación of January 31, 1824, and the Federal Constitution of October 4, 1824, fixed the political and administrative organization of the United Mexican States after the Mexican War of Independence. In addition, Section XXVIII of Article 50 gave the new Congress the right to choose where the federal government would be located. This location would then be appropriated as federal land, with the federal government acting as the local authority. The two main candidates to become the capital were Mexico City and Querétaro.
Due in large part to the persuasion of representative Servando Teresa de Mier, Mexico City was chosen because it was the center of the country's population and history, even though Querétaro was closer to the center geographically. The choice was official on November 18, 1824, and Congress delineated a surface area of two leagues square (8,800 acres) centered on the Zocalo. This area was then separated from the State of Mexico, forcing that state's government to move from the Palace of the Inquisition (now Museum of Mexican Medicine) in the city to Texcoco. This area did not include the population centers of the towns of Coyoacán, Xochimilco, Mexicaltzingo and Tlalpan, all of which remained as part of the State of Mexico.
In 1854 president Antonio López de Santa Anna enlarged the area of Mexico City almost eightfold from the original 220 to 1,700 km2 (80 to 660 sq mi), annexing the rural and mountainous areas to secure the strategic mountain passes to the south and southwest to protect the city in event of a foreign invasion. (The Mexican–American War had just been fought.) The last changes to the limits of Mexico City were made between 1898 and 1902, reducing the area to the current 1,479 km2 (571 sq mi) by adjusting the southern border with the state of Morelos. By that time, the total number of municipalities within Mexico City was twenty-two.
While Mexico City was ruled by the federal government through an appointed governor, the municipalities within it were autonomous, and this duality of powers created tension between the municipalities and the federal government for more than a century. In 1903, Porfirio Díaz largely reduced the powers of the municipalities within the Federal District. Eventually, in December 1928, the federal government decided to abolish all the municipalities of the Federal District. In place of the municipalities, the Federal District was divided into one "Central Department" and 13 delegaciones (boroughs) administered directly by the government of the Federal District. The Central Department was integrated by the former municipalities of Mexico City, Tacuba, Tacubaya and Mixcoac.
In 1941, the General Anaya borough was merged to the Central Department, which was then renamed "Mexico City" (thus reviving the name, but not the autonomous municipality). From 1941 to 1970, the Federal District comprised twelve delegaciones and Mexico City. In 1970, Mexico City was split into four different delegaciones: Cuauhtémoc, Miguel Hidalgo, Venustiano Carranza and Benito Juárez, increasing the number of delegaciones to 16. Since then, the whole Federal District, whose delegaciones had by then almost formed a single urban area, began to be considered de facto a synonym of Mexico City.
The lack of a de jure stipulation left a legal vacuum that led to a number of sterile discussions about whether one concept had engulfed the other or if the latter had ceased to exist altogether. In 1993, the situation was solved by an amendment to the 44th article of the Constitution of Mexico; Mexico City and the Federal District were stated to be the same entity. The amendment was later introduced into the second article of the Statute of Government of the Federal District.
On January 29, 2016, Mexico City ceased to be the Federal District (Spanish: Distrito Federal or D.F.). The former "Distrito Federal" is now officially known as "Ciudad de México" (or "CDMX"). Mexico City is now in transition to become the country's 32nd federal entity, giving it a level of autonomy comparable to that of a state. Because of a clause in the Mexican Constitution, however, as it is the seat of the powers of the federation, it can never become a state, or the capital of the country has to be relocated elsewhere.
Mexico City, being the seat of the powers of the Union, belongs not to any particular state but to all of them. Therefore, the president, representing the federation, used to designate the head of government of the Federal District (today the head of the government of Mexico City), sometimes called outside Mexico as the "Mayor" of Mexico City. In the 1980s, the dramatic increase in population of the previous decades, the inherent political inconsistencies of the system, and dissatisfaction with the inadequate response of the federal government after the 1985 earthquake made residents begin to request political and administrative autonomy to manage their local affairs. Some political groups even proposed that the Federal District be converted into the 32nd state of the federation.
In response to the demands, Mexico City received a greater degree of autonomy, with the 1987 elaboration the first Statute of Government (Estatuto de Gobierno) and the creation of an Assembly of Representatives. In the 1990s, this autonomy was further expanded and since 1997, residents can directly elect the head of government of the Federal District and the representatives of a unicameral Legislative Assembly, which succeeded the previous assembly, by popular vote.
The first elected head of government was Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas. He resigned in 1999 to run in the 2000 presidential elections and designated Rosario Robles to succeed him, who became the first woman, elected or otherwise, to govern Mexico City. In 2000, Andrés Manuel López Obrador was elected, and he resigned in 2005 to run in the 2006 presidential elections; Alejandro Encinas was designated by the Legislative Assembly to finish the term. In 2006, Marcelo Ebrard was elected to serve until 2012.
The city has a Statute of Government, and as of its ratification on 31 January 2017, a constitution, similar to the states of the Union. As part of the recent changes in autonomy, the budget is administered locally; it is proposed by the head of government and approved by the Legislative Assembly. Nonetheless, it is the Congress of the Union that sets the ceiling to internal and external public debt issued by the city government.
According to the 44th article of the Mexican Constitution, if the powers of the Union move to another city, Mexico City would become a new state, the "State of the Valley of Mexico", with the new limits set by the Congress of the Union.
In 2012, elections were held for the post of head of government and the representatives of the Legislative Assembly. Heads of government are elected for a six-year period without the possibility of re-election. Traditionally, the position has been considered as the second most important executive office in the country.
The Legislative Assembly of Mexico City is formed, as it is the case for state legislatures in Mexico, by both single-seat and proportional seats, making it a system of parallel voting. Mexico City is divided into 40 electoral constituencies of similar population which elect one representative by the plurality voting system, locally called "uninominal deputies". Mexico City, as a whole, is a single constituency for the parallel election of 26 representatives, elected by proportional representation, with open-party lists, locally called "plurinominal deputies".
Even though proportionality is supposed to prevent a party from being overrepresented, several restrictions apply in the assignation of the seats. No party can have more than 63% of all seats, both uninominal and plurinominal. In the 2006 elections, the PRD got the absolute majority in the direct uninominal elections, securing 34 of the 40 FPP seats. As such, the PRD was not assigned any plurinominal seat to comply with the law that prevents over-representation. The overall composition of the Legislative Assembly is:
|National Regeneration Movement||18||4||22|
|Party of the Democratic Revolution / Labour Party / New Alliance Party||14||7||21|
|National Action Party||5||5||10|
|Institutional Revolutionary Party / Ecologist Green Party of Mexico||3||6||9|
|Social Encounter Party||0||2||2|
The politics pursued by the administrations of heads of government in Mexico City since the second half of the 20th century have usually been more liberal than those of the rest of the country, whether with the support of the federal government, as was the case with the approval of several comprehensive environmental laws in the 1980s, or by laws that were since approved by the Legislative Assembly. The Legislative Assembly expanded provisions on abortions, becoming the first federal entity to expand abortion in Mexico beyond cases of rape and economic reasons, to permit it at the choice of the mother before the 12th week of pregnancy. In December 2009, the then Federal District became the first city in Latin America and one of very few in the world to legalize same-sex marriage.
For administrative purposes, the Federal District is divided into 16 "delegaciones", or boroughs. While they are not fully equivalent to municipalities, the boroughs have gained significant autonomy, and since 2000, their heads of government have been elected directly by plurality (they had been appointed by the head of government of the Federal District). Since Mexico City is organized entirely as a Federal District, most of the city services are provided or organized by the Government of the Federal District, not by the boroughs themselves; in the constituent states, such services would be provided by the municipalities. The boroughs of Mexico City with their 2010 populations are:
1. Álvaro Obregón (pop. 727,034)
9. Iztapalapa (pop. 1,815,786)
The boroughs are composed by hundreds of colonias or neighborhoods, which have no jurisdictional autonomy or representation. The Historic Center, in the borough of Cuauhtémoc, is the oldest part of the city (along with some other, formerly separate colonial towns such as Coyoacán and San Ángel), some of the buildings dating back to the 16th century. Other well-known central neighborhoods include Condesa, known for its Art Deco architecture and its restaurant scene; Colonia Roma, a beaux arts neighborhood and artistic and culinary hot-spot, the Zona Rosa, formerly the center of nightlife and restaurants, now reborn as the center of the LGBT and Korean-Mexican communities; and Tepito and La Lagunilla, known for their local working-class foklore and large flea markets. Santa María la Ribera and San Rafael are the latest neighborhoods of magnificent Porfiriato architecture seeing the first signs of gentrification.
West of the Historic Center (Centro Histórico) along Paseo de la Reforma are many of the city's wealthiest neighborhoods such as Polanco, Lomas de Chapultepec, Bosques de las Lomas, Santa Fe, and (in the State of Mexico) Interlomas, which are also the city's most important areas of class A office space, corporate headquarters, skyscrapers and shopping malls. Nevertheless, some areas of lower-income colonias are right next to rich neighborhoods, particularly in the case of Santa Fe.
The south of the city is home to some other high-income neighborhoods such as Colonia del Valle and Jardines del Pedregal and the formerly separate colonial towns of Coyoacán, San Ángel, and San Jerónimo. Along Avenida Insurgentes from Paseo de la Reforma, near the center, south past the World Trade Center and UNAM university towards the Periférico ring road, is another important corridor of corporate office space. The far-southern boroughs of Xochimilco and Tláhuac have a significant rural population, with Milpa Alta being entirely rural.
East of the center are mostly lower-income areas with some middle-class neighborhoods such as Jardín Balbuena. Urban sprawl continues further east for many miles into the State of Mexico, including Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl, now increasingly middle-class, but once full of informal settlements. Such slums are still found on the eastern edges of the metropolitan area in the Chalco area.
North of the Historic Center, Azcapotzalco and Gustavo A. Madero have important industrial centers and neighborhoods that range from established middle-class colonias such as Claveria and Lindavista to huge low-income housing areas that share hillsides with adjacent municipalities in the State of Mexico. In recent years, much of northern Mexico City's industry has moved to nearby municipalities in the State of Mexico. Northwest of Mexico City itself is Ciudad Satélite, a vast middle to upper-middle-class residential and business area.
The Human Development Index report of 2005  shows that there were three boroughs with a very high Human Development Index, 12 with a high HDI value (9 above .85) and one with a medium HDI value (almost high). Benito Juárez borough had the highest HDI of the country (0.9510) followed by Miguel Hidalgo which came up fourth nationally with a HDI of (0.9189) and Coyoacán was fifth nationally, with a HDI of (0.9169). Cuajimalpa (15th), Cuauhtémoc and Azcapotzalco (25th) also had very high values of respectively 0.8994, 0.8922, and 0.8915.
In contrast, the boroughs of Xochimilco (172nd), Tláhuac (177th), and Iztapalapa (183rd) presented the lowest HDI values of Mexico City with values of 0.8481, 0.8473, and 0.8464 respectively, which are still in the global high-HDI range. The only borough that did not have a high HDI was that of rural Milpa Alta, which had a "medium" HDI of 0.7984, far below all of the other boroughs (627th nationally, the rest being in the top 200). Mexico City's HDI for the 2005 report was of 0.9012 (very high), and its 2010 value of 0.9225 (very high), or (by newer methodology) 0.8307, was Mexico's highest.
Greater Mexico City is formed by Mexico City, 60 municipalities from the State of Mexico and one from the state of Hidalgo. Greater Mexico City is the largest metropolitan area in Mexico and the area with the highest population density. As of 2009, 21,163,226 people live in this urban agglomeration, of which 8,841,916 live in Mexico City proper. In terms of population, the biggest municipalities that are part of Greater Mexico City (excluding Mexico City proper) are:
The above municipalities are located in the state of Mexico but are part of the Greater Mexico City area. Approximately 75% (10 million) of the state of México's population live in municipalities that are part of Greater Mexico City's conurbation.
Greater Mexico City was the fastest growing metropolitan area in the country until the late 1980s. Since then, and through a policy of decentralization in order to reduce the environmental pollutants of the growing conurbation, the annual rate of growth of the agglomeration has decreased, and it is lower than that of the other four largest metropolitan areas (namely Greater Guadalajara, Greater Monterrey, Greater Puebla and Greater Toluca) even though it is still positive.
The net migration rate of Mexico City proper from 1995 to 2000 was negative, which implies that residents are moving to the suburbs of the metropolitan area, or to other states of Mexico. In addition, some inner suburbs are losing population to outer suburbs, indicating the continuing expansion of Greater Mexico City.
The Secretariat of Public Security of Mexico City (Secretaría de Seguridad Pública de la Ciudad de México – SSP) manages a combined force of over 90,000 officers in Mexico City. The SSP is charged with maintaining public order and safety in the heart of Mexico City. The historic district is also roamed by tourist police, aiming to orient and serve tourists. These horse-mounted agents dress in traditional uniforms.
The investigative Judicial Police of Mexico City (Policía Judicial de la Ciudad de México – PJCDMX) is organized under the Office of the Attorney General of Mexico City (the Procuraduría General de Justicia de la Ciudad de México). The PGJCDMX maintains 16 precincts (delegaciones) with an estimated 3,500 judicial police, 1,100 investigating agents for prosecuting attorneys (agentes del ministerio público), and nearly 1,000 criminology experts or specialists (peritos).
Between 2000 and 2004 an average of 478 crimes were reported each day in Mexico City; however, the actual crime rate is thought to be much higher "since most people are reluctant to report crime". Under policies enacted by Mayor Marcelo Ebrard between 2009 and 2011, Mexico City underwent a major security upgrade with violent and petty crime rates both falling significantly despite the rise in violent crime in other parts of the country. Some of the policies enacted included the installation of 11,000 security cameras around the city and a very large expansion of the police force. Mexico City has one of the world's highest police officer-to-resident ratios, with one uniformed officer per 100 citizens. Since 1997 the prison population has increased by more than 500%. Political scientist Markus-Michael Müller argues that mostly informal street vendors are hit by these measures. He sees punishment "related to the growing politicisation of security and crime issues and the resulting criminalisation of the people living at the margins of urban society, in particular those who work in the city’s informal economy."
Mexico City is home to some of the best private hospitals in the country; Hospital Ángeles, Hospital ABC and Médica Sur to name a few. The national public healthcare institution for private-sector employees, IMSS, has its largest facilities in Mexico City—including the National Medical Center and the La Raza Medical Center—and has an annual budget of over 6 billion pesos. The IMSS and other public health institutions, including the ISSSTE (Public Sector Employees' Social Security Institute) and the National Health Ministry (SSA) maintain large specialty facilities in the city. These include the National Institutes of Cardiology, Nutrition, Psychiatry, Oncology, Pediatrics, Rehabilitation, among others.
The World Bank has sponsored a project to curb air pollution through public transport improvements and the Mexican government has started shutting down polluting factories. They have phased out diesel buses and mandated new emission controls on new cars; since 1993 all new cars must be fitted with a catalytic converter, which reduces the emissions released. Trucks must use only liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Also construction of an underground rail system was begun in 1968 in order to help curb air pollution problems and alleviate traffic congestion. Today it has over 201 km (125 mi) of track and carries over 5 million people every day. Fees are kept low to encourage use of the system and during rush hours the crush is so great, that authorities have reserved a special carriage specifically for women. Due to these initiatives and others, the air quality in Mexico City has begun to improve, with the air becoming cleaner since 1991, when the air quality was declared to be a public health risk for 355 days of the year.
Mexico City is one of the most important economic hubs in Latin America. The city proper produces 15.8% of the country's gross domestic product. According to a study conducted by PwC, Mexico City had a GDP of $390 billion, ranking it as the eighth richest city in the world and the richest in Latin America. Mexico City alone would rank as the 30th largest economy in the world. Mexico City is the greatest contributor to the country's industrial GDP (15.8%) and also the greatest contributor to the country's GDP in the service sector (25.3%). Due to the limited non-urbanized space at the south—most of which is protected through environmental laws—the contribution of Mexico City in agriculture is the smallest of all federal entities in the country. Mexico City has one of the world's fastest-growing economies and its GDP is set to double from 2008 to 2020.
The top twelve percent of GDP per capita holders in the city had a mean disposable income of US$98,517 in 2007. The high spending power of Mexico City inhabitants makes the city attractive for companies offering prestige and luxury goods.
The economic reforms of President Carlos Salinas de Gortari had a tremendous effect on the city, as a number of businesses, including banks and airlines, were privatized. He also signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This led to decentralization and a shift in Mexico City's economic base, from manufacturing to services, as most factories moved away to either the State of Mexico, or more commonly to the northern border. By contrast, corporate office buildings set their base in the city.
Historically, and since Pre-Columbian times, the Valley of Anahuac has been one of the most densely populated areas in Mexico. When the Federal District was created in 1824, the urban area of Mexico City extended approximately to the area of today's Cuauhtémoc borough. At the beginning of the 20th century, the elites began migrating to the south and west and soon the small towns of Mixcoac and San Ángel were incorporated by the growing conurbation. According to the 1921 census, 54.78% of the city's population was considered Mestizo (Indigenous mixed with European), 22.79% considered European, and 18.74% considered Indigenous. This was the last Mexican Census which asked people to self-identify with an heritage other than Amerindian. However, the census had the particularity that, unlike racial/ethnic census in other countries, it was focused in the perception of cultural heritage rather than in a racial perception, leading to a good number of white people to identify with "Mixed heritage" due to cultural influence. In 1921, Mexico City had less than one million inhabitants.
Up to the 1990s, the Federal District was the most populous federal entity in Mexico, but since then its population has remained stable at around 8.7 million. The growth of the city has extended beyond the limits of the Federal District to 59 municipalities of the State of Mexico and 1 in the state of Hidalgo. With a population of approximately 19.8 million inhabitants (2008), it is one of the most populous conurbations in the world. Nonetheless, the annual rate of growth of the Metropolitan Area of Mexico City is much lower than that of other large urban agglomerations in Mexico, a phenomenon most likely attributable to the environmental policy of decentralization. The net migration rate of Mexico City from 1995 to 2000 was negative.
Representing around 18.74% of the city's population, indigenous peoples from different areas of Mexico have migrated to the capital in search of better economic opportunities. Nahuatl, Otomi, Mixtec, Zapotec and Mazahua are the indigenous languages with the greatest number of speakers in Mexico City.
On the other hand, Mexico City is also home to large communities of expatriates and immigrants, most notably from the rest of North America (U.S. and Canada), from South America (mainly from Argentina and Colombia, but also from Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Venezuela), from Central America and the Caribbean (mainly from Cuba, Guatemala, El Salvador, Haiti and Honduras); from Europe (mainly from Spain, Germany and Switzerland, but also from Czech Republic, Hungary, France, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland and Romania), from the Middle East (mainly from Egypt, Lebanon and Syria); and recently from Asia-Pacific (mainly from China and South Korea). Historically since the era of New Spain, many Filipinos settled in the city and have become integrated in Mexican society. While no official figures have been reported, population estimates of each of these communities are quite significant.
Mexico City is home to the largest population of U.S. Americans living outside the United States. Current estimates are as high as 700,000 U.S. Americans living in Mexico City, while in 1999 the U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs estimated over 440,000 Americans lived in the Mexico City Metropolitan Area.
The majority (82%) of the residents in Mexico City are Roman Catholic, slightly lower than the 2010 census national percentage of 87%, though it has been decreasing over the last decades. Many other religions and philosophies are also practiced in the city: many different types of Protestant groups, different types of Jewish communities, Buddhist, Islamic and other spiritual and philosophical groups. There are also growing numbers of irreligious people, whether agnostic or atheist. The patron saint of Mexico City is saint Philip of Jesus, a Mexican Catholic missionary who became one of the Twenty-six Martyrs of Japan.
Mexico City is a destination for many foreign tourists. Wikipedia's sister project Wikivoyage has useful information on tourism in Mexico City. The Historic center of Mexico City (Centro Histórico) and the "floating gardens" of Xochimilco in the southern borough have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Famous landmarks in the Historic Center include the Plaza de la Constitución (Zócalo), the main central square with its epoch-contrasting Spanish-era Metropolitan Cathedral and National Palace, ancient Aztec temple ruins Templo Mayor ("Major Temple") and modern structures, all within a few steps of one another. (The Templo Mayor was discovered in 1978 while workers were digging to place underground electric cables).
The most recognizable icon of Mexico City is the golden Angel of Independence on the wide, elegant avenue Paseo de la Reforma, modeled by the order of the Emperor Maximilian of Mexico after the Champs-Élysées in Paris. This avenue was designed over the Americas' oldest known major roadway in the 19th century to connect the National Palace (seat of government) with the Castle of Chapultepec, the imperial residence. Today, this avenue is an important financial district in which the Mexican Stock Exchange and several corporate headquarters are located. Another important avenue is the Avenida de los Insurgentes, which extends 28.8 km (17.9 mi) and is one of the longest single avenues in the world.
Chapultepec Park houses the Chapultepec Castle, now a museum on a hill that overlooks the park and its numerous museums, monuments and the national zoo and the National Museum of Anthropology (which houses the Aztec Calendar Stone). Another piece of architecture is the Fine Arts Palace, a white marble theatre/museum whose weight is such that it has gradually been sinking into the soft ground below. Its construction began during the presidency of Porfirio Díaz and ended in 1934, after being interrupted by the Mexican Revolution in the 1920s. The Plaza of the Three Cultures in the Tlatelolco neighbourhood, and the shrine and Basilicas of Our Lady of Guadalupe are also important sites. There is a double-decker bus, known as the "Turibus", that circles most of these sites, and has timed audio describing the sites in multiple languages as they are passed.
In addition, the city has about 160 museums—the world's greatest single metropolitan concentration —over 100 art galleries, and some 30 concert halls, all of which maintain a constant cultural activity during the whole year. It has either the third or fourth-highest number of theatres in the world after New York, London and perhaps Toronto. Many areas (e.g. Palacio Nacional and the National Institute of Cardiology) have murals painted by Diego Rivera. He and his wife Frida Kahlo lived in Coyoacán, where several of their homes, studios, and art collections are open to the public. The house where Leon Trotsky was initially granted asylum and finally murdered in 1940 is also in Coyoacán.
In addition, there are several restored haciendas that are now restaurants, such as the San Ángel Inn, the Hacienda de Tlalpan, Hacienda de Cortés and the Hacienda de los Morales.
Having been capital of a vast pre-Hispanic empire, and also the capital of richest viceroyalty within the Spanish Empire (ruling over a vast territory in the Americas and Spanish West Indies), and, finally, the capital of the United Mexican States, Mexico City has a rich history of artistic expression. Since the mesoamerican pre-Classical period the inhabitants of the settlements around Lake Texcoco produced many works of art and complex craftsmanship, some of which are today displayed at the world-renowned National Museum of Anthropology and the Templo Mayor museum. While many pieces of pottery and stone-engraving have survived, the great majority of the Amerindian iconography was destroyed during the Conquest of Mexico.
Much of the early colonial art stemmed from the codices (Aztec illustrated books), aiming to recover and preserve some Aztec and other Amerindian iconography and history. From then, artistic expressions in Mexico were mostly religious in theme. The Metropolitan Cathedral still displays works by Juan de Rojas, Juan Correa and an oil painting whose authorship has been attributed to Murillo. Secular works of art of this period include the equestrian sculpture of Charles IV of Spain, locally known as El Caballito ("The little horse"). This piece, in bronze, was the work of Manuel Tolsá and it has been placed at the Plaza Tolsá, in front of the Palacio de Mineria (Mining Palace). Directly in front of this building is the beautiful Museo Nacional de Arte (Munal) (the National Museum of Art).
During the 19th century, an important producer of art was the Academia de San Carlos (San Carlos Art Academy), founded during colonial times, and which later became the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas (the National School of Arts) including painting, sculpture and graphic design, one of UNAM's art schools. Many of the works produced by the students and faculty of that time are now displayed in the Museo Nacional de San Carlos (National Museum of San Carlos). One of the students, José María Velasco, is considered one of the greatest Mexican landscape painters of the 19th century. Porfirio Díaz's regime sponsored arts, especially those that followed the French school. Popular arts in the form of cartoons and illustrations flourished, e.g. those of José Guadalupe Posada and Manuel Manilla. The permanent collection of the San Carlos Museum also includes paintings by European masters such as Rembrandt, Velázquez, Murillo, and Rubens.
After the Mexican Revolution, an avant-garde artistic movement originated in Mexico City: muralism. Many of the works of muralists José Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros and Diego Rivera are displayed in numerous buildings in the city, most notably at the National Palace and the Palacio de Bellas Artes. Frida Kahlo, wife of Rivera, with a strong nationalist expression, was also one of the most renowned of Mexican painters. Her house has become a museum that displays many of her works.
The former home of Rivera muse Dolores Olmedo houses the namesake museum. The facility is in Xochimilco borough in southern Mexico City and includes several buildings surrounded by sprawling manicured lawns. It houses a large collection of Rivera and Kahlo paintings and drawings, as well as living Xoloizcuintles (Mexican Hairless Dog). It also regularly hosts small but important temporary exhibits of classical and modern art (e.g. Venetian Masters and Contemporary New York artists).
During the 20th century, many artists immigrated to Mexico City from different regions of Mexico, such as Leopoldo Méndez, an engraver from Veracruz, who supported the creation of the socialist Taller de la Gráfica Popular (Popular Graphics Workshop), designed to help blue-collar workers find a venue to express their art. Other painters came from abroad, such as Catalan painter Remedios Varo and other Spanish and Jewish exiles. It was in the second half of the 20th century that the artistic movement began to drift apart from the Revolutionary theme. José Luis Cuevas opted for a modernist style in contrast to the muralist movement associated with social politics.
Mexico City has numerous museums dedicated to art, including Mexican colonial, modern and contemporary art, and international art. The Museo Tamayo was opened in the mid-1980s to house the collection of international contemporary art donated by famed Mexican (born in the state of Oaxaca) painter Rufino Tamayo. The collection includes pieces by Picasso, Klee, Kandinsky, Warhol and many others, though most of the collection is stored while visiting exhibits are shown. The Museo de Arte Moderno (Museum of Modern Art) is a repository of Mexican artists from the 20th century, including Rivera, Orozco, Siqueiros, Kahlo, Gerzso, Carrington, Tamayo, among others, and also regularly hosts temporary exhibits of international modern art. In southern Mexico City, the Museo Carrillo Gil (Carrillo Gil Museum) showcases avant-garde artists, as does the University Museum/Contemporary Art (Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo – or MUAC), designed by famed Mexican architect Teodoro González de León, inaugurated in late 2008.
The Museo Soumaya, named after the wife of Mexican magnate Carlos Slim, has the largest private collection of original Rodin sculptures outside Paris. It also has a large collection of Dalí sculptures, and recently began showing pieces in its masters collection including El Greco, Velázquez, Picasso and Canaletto. The museum inaugurated a new futuristic-design facility in 2011 just north of Polanco, while maintaining a smaller facility in Plaza de Loreto in southern Mexico City. The Colección Júmex is a contemporary art museum located on the sprawling grounds of the Jumex juice company in the northern industrial suburb of Ecatepec. It is said to have the largest private contemporary art collection in Latin America and hosts pieces from its permanent collection as well as traveling exhibits by leading contemporary artists. The new Museo Júmex in Nuevo Polanco was slated to open in November 2013. The Museo de San Ildefonso, housed in the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso in Mexico City's historic downtown district is a 17th-century colonnaded palace housing an art museum that regularly hosts world-class exhibits of Mexican and international art. Recent exhibits have included those on David LaChapelle, Antony Gormley and Ron Mueck. The National Museum of Art (Museo Nacional de Arte) is also located in a former palace in the historic center. It houses a large collection of pieces by all major Mexican artists of the last 400 years and also hosts visiting exhibits.
Jack Kerouac, the noted American author, spent extended periods of time in the city, and wrote his masterpiece volume of poetry Mexico City Blues here. Another American author, William S. Burroughs, also lived in the Colonia Roma neighborhood of the city for some time. It was here that he accidentally shot his wife.
Most of Mexico City's more than 150 museums can be visited from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm, although some of them have extended schedules, such as the Museum of Anthropology and History, which is open to 7 pm. In addition to this, entrance to most museums are free on Sunday. In some cases a modest fee may be charged.
Another major addition to the city's museum scene is the Museum of Remembrance and Tolerance (Museo de la Memoria y Tolerancia), inaugurated in early 2011. The brainchild of two young Mexican women as a Holocaust museum, the idea morphed into a unique museum dedicated to showcasing all major historical events of discrimination and genocide. Permanent exhibits include those on the Holocaust and other large-scale atrocities. It also houses temporary exhibits; one on Tibet was inaugurated by the Dalai Lama in September 2011.
Mexico City is home to a number of orchestras offering season programs. These include the Mexico City Philharmonic, which performs at the Sala Ollin Yoliztli; the National Symphony Orchestra, whose home base is the Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of the Fine Arts), a masterpiece of art nouveau and art decó styles; the Philharmonic Orchestra of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (OFUNAM), and the Minería Symphony Orchestra, both of which perform at the Sala Nezahualcóyotl, which was the first wrap-around concert hall of the world's western hemisphere when inaugurated in 1976. There are also many smaller ensembles that enrich the city's musical scene, including the Carlos Chávez Youth Symphony, the Cuarteto Latinoamericano, the New World Orchestra (Orquesta del Nuevo Mundo), the National Polytechnical Symphony and the Bellas Artes Chamber Orchestra (Orquesta de Cámara de Bellas Artes).
The city is also a leading center of popular culture and music. There are a multitude of venues hosting Spanish and foreign-language performers. These include the 10,000-seat National Auditorium that regularly schedules the Spanish and English-language pop and rock artists, as well as many of the world's leading performing arts ensembles, the auditorium also broadcasts grand opera performances from New York's Metropolitan Opera on giant, high definition screens. In 2007 National Auditorium was selected world's best venue by multiple genre media.
Other popular sites for pop-artist performances include the 3,000-seat Teatro Metropolitan, the 15,000-seat Palacio de los Deportes, and the larger 50,000-seat Foro Sol Stadium, where popular international artists perform on a regular basis. The Cirque du Soleil has held several seasons at the Carpa Santa Fe, in the Santa Fe district in the western part of the city. There are numerous venues for smaller musical ensembles and solo performers. These include the Hard Rock Live, Bataclán, Foro Scotiabank, Lunario, Circo Volador and Voilá Acoustique. Recent additions include the 20,000-seat Arena Ciudad de México, the 3,000-seat Pepsi Center World Trade Center, and the 2,500-seat Auditorio Blackberry.
The Centro Nacional de las Artes (National Center for the Arts has several venues for music, theatre, dance. UNAM's main campus, also in the southern part of the city, is home to the Centro Cultural Universitario (the University Culture Center) (CCU). The CCU also houses the National Library, the interactive Universum, Museo de las Ciencias, the Sala Nezahualcóyotl concert hall, several theatres and cinemas, and the new University Museum of Contemporary Art (MUAC). A branch of the National University's CCU cultural center was inaugurated in 2007 in the facilities of the former Ministry of Foreign Affairs, known as Tlatelolco, in north-central Mexico City.
The Papalote children's museum, which houses the world's largest dome screen, is located in the wooded park of Chapultepec, near the Museo Tecnológico, and La Feria amusement park. The theme park Six Flags México (the largest amusement park in Latin America) is located in the Ajusco neighborhood, in Tlalpan borough, southern Mexico City. During the winter, the main square of the Zócalo is transformed into a gigantic ice skating rink, which is said to be the largest in the world behind that of Moscow's Red Square.
The Cineteca Nacional (the Mexican Film Library), near the Coyoacán suburb, shows a variety of films, and stages many film festivals, including the annual International Showcase, and many smaller ones ranging from Scandinavian and Uruguayan cinema, to Jewish and LGBT-themed films. Cinépolis and Cinemex, the two biggest film business chains, also have several film festivals throughout the year, with both national and international movies. Mexico City has a number of IMAX theatres, providing residents and visitors access to films ranging from documentaries to popular blockbusters on these especially large, dramatic screens.
Mexico City offers a variety of cuisines. Restaurants specializing in the regional cuisines of Mexico's 31 states are available in the city. Also available are an array of international cuisines, including Canadian, French, Italian, Croatian, Spanish (including many regional variations), Jewish, Lebanese, Chinese (again with regional variations), Indian, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, and fellow Latin American cuisines such as Argentine, Brazilian, and Peruvian. Haute, fusion, kosher, vegetarian and vegan cuisines are also available, as are restaurants solely based on the concepts of local food and slow Food.
Mexico City is known for having some of the freshest fish and seafood in Mexico's interior. La Nueva Viga Market is the second largest seafood market in the world after the Tsukiji fish market in Japan.
The city also has several branches of renowned international restaurants and chefs. These include Paris' Au Pied de Cochon and Brasserie Lipp, Philippe (by Philippe Chow); Nobu, Quintonil, Pujol, Morimoto; Pámpano, owned by Mexican-raised opera legend Plácido Domingo. There are branches of the exclusive Japanese restaurant Suntory, Rome's famed Alfredo, as well as New York steakhouses Morton's and The Palm, and Monte Carlo's BeefBar. Three of the most famous Lima-based Haute Peruvian restaurants, La Mar, Segundo Muelle and Astrid y Gastón have locations in Mexico City.
For the 2014 list of World's 50 Best Restaurants as named by the British magazine Restaurant, Mexico City ranked with the Mexican avant-garde restaurant Pujol (owned by Mexican chef Enrique Olvera) at 20th best. Also notable is the Basque-Mexican fusion restaurant Biko (run and co-owned by Bruno Oteiza and Mikel Alonso), which placed outside the list at 59th, but in previous years has ranked within the top 50.
At the other end of the scale are working class pulque bars known as pulquerías, a challenge for tourists to locate and experience.
Mexico City has many modes of public transportation, from the metro (subway) system, to suburban rail, light rail, regular buses, BRT (bus rapid transit), 'pesero' minibuses, and trolleybuses, to bike share.
Mexico City is served by the Sistema de Transporte Colectivo, a 225.9 km (140 mi) metro system, which is the largest in Latin America. The first portions were opened in 1969 and it has expanded to 17 lines with 195 stations. The metro transports 4.4 million people every day. It is the 8th busiest metro system in the world, behind Tokyo (10.0 million), Beijing (9.3 million), Shanghai (7.8 million), Seoul (7.3 million), Moscow (6.7 million), Guangzhou (6.2 million), and New York City (4.9 million). It is heavily subsidized, and has some of the lowest fares in the world, each trip costing 5.00 pesos (roughly 0.27 USD) from 05:00 am to midnight. Several stations display pre-Columbian artifacts and architecture that were discovered during the metro's construction. However, the metro covers less than half of the total urban area. The Metro stations are also differentiated by the use of icons and glyphs which were created for the illiterate, a unique system that has become iconic characteristic of Mexico City. Each icon was developed based on historical (characters, sites, pre-Hispanic motifs), linguistic, symbolic (glyphs) or geographic references. A complementary system of icons was used for the Metrobús (BRT) stops.
A suburban rail system, the Tren Suburbano serves the metropolitan area, beyond the reach of the metro, currently with only one line serving to municipalities such as Tlalnepantla and Cuautitlán Izcalli, but with future lines planned to serve e.g. Chalco and La Paz.
Peseros are typically half-length passenger buses (known as microbús) that sit 22 passengers and stand up to 28. As of 2007, the approximately 28,000 peseros carried up to 60 percent of the city's passengers. In August 2016, Mayor Mancera announced that new pesero vehicle and concessions would be eliminated completely unless they were ecologically friendly vehicles, and in October 2011 the city's Secretary of Mobility Héctor Serrano states that by the end of the current administration (2018) there would no longer by any peseros/microbuses circulating at all, and that new full-sized buses would take over the routes.
In 2014, the city launched so-called "Bus Rapid Service", with mid-sized Mercedes-Benz Boxer buses carrying 75-85 passengers painted purple-on-white, replacing 'peseros' on certain groups of routes. Operation is a concession to the private firms (SAUSA, COTOBUSA, TREPSA) instead of to individual vehicle operators.
City agency M1, formerly Red de Transporte de Pasajeros (RTP), operates various networks of large buses including regular, Ecobús, Circuito Bicentenario, Atenea, Express, school and night routes. In 2016, more bus routes were added to replace pesero routes.
In 2016, the SVBUS express bus service was launched, with limited stops and utilizing the city's toll roads on the second-level of the Periférico ring road and Supervía Poniente and connecting Toreo/Cuatro Caminos with Santa Fe, San Jerónimo Lídice and Tepepan near Xochimilco in the southeast.
Suburban buses also leave from the city's main intercity bus stations.
The city's first bus rapid transit line, the Metrobús, began operation in June 2005, along Avenida Insurgentes. More and more lines opened and as of mid-2017 there are 6 routes with a 7th planned along Paseo de la Reforma to connect Santa Fe with the city center and points north. As each line opened, the 'pesero' minibuses were removed from each route, in order to reduce pollution and commute times. As of mid-2017, there were 568 Metrobús buses. In late 2016 they transported an average of 1.1 million passengers daily.
Electric transport other than the metro also exists, in the form of several Mexico City trolleybus routes and the Xochimilco Light Rail line, both of which are operated by Servicio de Transportes Eléctricos. The central area's last streetcar line (tramway, or tranvía) closed in 1979.
In the late 1970s many arterial roads were redesigned as ejes viales; high-volume one-way roads that cross, in theory, Mexico City proper from side to side. The eje vial network is based on a quasi-Cartesian grid, with the ejes themselves being called Eje 1 Poniente, Eje Central, and Eje 1 Oriente, for example, for the north-south roads, and Eje 2 Sur and Eje 3 Norte, for example, for east-west roads. Ring roads are the Circuito Interior (inner ring), Anillo Periférico; the Circuito Exterior Mexiquense ("State of Mexico outer loop") toll road skirting the northeastern and eastern edges of the metropolitan area, the Chamapa-La Venta toll road skirting the northwestern edge, and the Arco Norte completely bypassing the metropolitan area in an arc from northwest (Atlacomulco) to north (Tula, Hidalgo) to east (Puebla). A second level (where tolls are charged) of the Periférico, colloquially called the segundo piso ("second floor"), was officially opened in 2012, with sections still being completed. The Viaducto Miguel Alemán crosses the city east-west from Observatorio to the airport. In 2013 the Supervía Poniente opened, a toll road linking the new Santa Fe business district with southwestern Mexico City.
There is an environmental program, called Hoy No Circula ("Today Does Not Run", or "One Day without a Car"), whereby vehicles that have not passed emissions testing are restricted from circulating on certain days according to the ending digit of their license plates; this in an attempt to cut down on pollution and traffic congestion. While in 2003, the program still restricted 40% of vehicles in the metropolitan area, with the adoption of stricter emissions standards in 2001 and 2006, in practice, these days most vehicles are exempt from the circulation restrictions as long as they pass regular emissions tests.
Street parking in urban neighborhoods is mostly controlled by the franeleros a.k.a. "viene vienes" (lit. "come on, come on"), who ask drivers for a fee to park. Double parking is common (with franeleros moving the cars as required), impeding on the available lanes for traffic to pass. In order to mitigate that and other problems and to raise revenue, 721 parking meters (as of October 2013), have been installed in the west-central neighborhoods Lomas de Chapultepec, Condesa, Roma, Polanco and Anzures, in operation from 8 AM to 8 PM on weekdays and charging a rate of 2 pesos per 15 minutes, with offenders' cars booted, costing about 500 pesos to remove. 30 percent of the monthly 16 million-peso (as of October 2013) income from the parking-meter system (named "ecoParq") is earmarked for neighborhood improvements. The granting of the license for all zones exclusively to a new company without experience in operating parking meters, Operadora de Estacionamientos Bicentenario, has generated controversy.
The local government continuously strives for a reduction of massive traffic congestion, and has increased incentives for making a bicycle-friendly city. This includes North America's second-largest bicycle sharing system, EcoBici, launched in 2010, in which registered residents can get bicycles for 45 minutes with a pre-paid subscription of 300 pesos a year. There are, as of September 2013, 276 stations with 4,000 bicycles across an area stretching from the Historic center to Polanco. within 300 meters (980 feet) of one another and are fully automatic using a transponder based card. Bicycle-service users have access to several permanent Ciclovías (dedicated bike paths/lanes/streets), including ones along Paseo de la Reforma and Avenida Chapultepec as well as one running 59 kilometers (37 miles) from Polanco to Fierro del Toro, which is located south of Cumbres del Ajusco National Park, near the Morelos state line. The city's initiative is inspired by forward thinking examples, such as Denmark's Copenhagenization.
The city has four major bus stations (North, South, Observatorio, TAPO), which comprise one of the world's largest transportation agglomerations, with bus service to many cities across the country and international connections. There are some intercity buses that leave directly from the Mexico City International Airport.
Mexico City is served by Mexico City International Airport (IATA Airport Code: MEX). This airport is Latin America's busiest, with daily flights to United States and Canada, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, South America, Europe and Asia. Aeroméxico (Skyteam) is based at this airport, and provide codeshare agreements with non-Mexican airlines that span the entire globe. The airport is also a hub for Volaris, Interjet and Aeromar.
In 2016, the airport handled almost 42 million passengers, about 3.3 million more than the year before. This traffic exceeds the current capacity of the airport, which has historically centralized the majority of air traffic in the country. An alternate option is Lic. Adolfo López Mateos International Airport (IATA Airport Code: TLC) in nearby Toluca, State of Mexico, although due to several airlines' decisions to terminate service to TLC, the airport has seen a passenger drop to just over 700,000 passengers in 2014 from over 2.1 million passengers just four years prior.
In the Mexico City airport, the government engaged in an extensive restructuring program that includes the addition of a new second terminal, which began operations in 2007, and the enlargement of four other airports (at the nearby cities of Toluca, Querétaro, Puebla and Cuernavaca) that, along with Mexico City's airport, comprise the Grupo Aeroportuario del Valle de México, distributing traffic to different regions in Mexico. The city of Pachuca will also provide additional expansion to central Mexico's airport network.
During his annual state-of-the-nation address on September 2, 2014, President of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto unveiled plans for a new international airport to ease the city's notorious air traffic congestion, tentatively slated for a 2018 opening. The new airport, which would have six runways, will cost $9.15 billion and would be built on vacant federal land east of Mexico City International Airport. Goals are to eventually handle 120 million passengers a year, which would make it the busiest airport in the world.
The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), located in Mexico City, is the largest university on the continent, with more than 300,000 students from all backgrounds. Three Nobel laureates, several Mexican entrepreneurs and most of Mexico's modern-day presidents are among its former students. UNAM conducts 50% of Mexico's scientific research and has presence all across the country with satellite campuses, observatories and research centres. UNAM ranked 74th in the Top 200 World University Ranking published by Times Higher Education (then called Times Higher Education Supplement) in 2006, making it the highest ranked Spanish-speaking university in the world. The sprawling main campus of the university, known as Ciudad Universitaria, was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2007.
The second largest higher-education institution is the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN), which includes among many other relevant centers the Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados (Cinvestav), where varied high-level scientific and technological research is done. Other major higher-education institutions in the city include the Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM), the National School of Anthropology and History (ENAH), the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM), the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (3 campuses), the Universidad Panamericana (UP), the Universidad La Salle, the Universidad del Valle de Mexico (UVM), the Universidad Anáhuac, Simon Bolivar University (USB), the Alliant International University, the Universidad Iberoamericana, El Colegio de México (Colmex), Escuela Libre de Derecho and the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económica, (CIDE). In addition, the prestigious University of California maintains a campus known as "Casa de California" in the city. The Universidad Tecnológica de México is also in Mexico City.
Unlike those of Mexican states' schools, curricula of Mexico City's public schools is managed by the federal Secretary of Public Education. The whole funding is allocated by the government of Mexico City (in some specific cases, such as El Colegio de México, funding comes from both the city's government and other public and private national and international entities). The city's public high school system is the Instituto de Educación Media Superior de la Ciudad de México (IEMS-DF).
A special case is that of El Colegio Nacional, created during the district's governmental period of Miguel Alemán Valdés to have, in Mexico, an institution similar to the College of France. The select and privileged group of Mexican scientists and artists belonging to this institution—membership is for life—include, among many, Mario Lavista, Ruy Pérez Tamayo, José Emilio Pacheco, Marcos Moshinsky (d.2009), Guillermo Soberón Acevedo. Members are obligated to publicly disclose their works through conferences and public events such as concerts and recitals.
Among its many public and private schools (K–13), the city offers multi-cultural, multi-lingual and international schools attended by Mexican and foreign students. Best known are the Colegio Alemán (German school with three main campuses), the Liceo Mexicano Japonés (Japanese), the Centro Cultural Coreano en México (Korean), the Lycée Franco-Mexicain (French), the American School, The Westhill Institute (American School), the Edron Academy and the Greengates School (British).
Mexico City offers an immense and varied consumer retail market, ranging from basic foods to ultra high-end luxury goods. Consumers may buy in fixed indoor markets, mobile markets (tianguis), from street vendors, from downtown shops in a street dedicated to a certain type of good, in convenience stores and traditional neighborhood stores, in modern supermarkets, in warehouse and membership stores and the shopping centers that they anchor, in department stores, big-box stores and in modern shopping malls.
In addition, "tianguis" or mobile markets set up shop on streets in many neighborhoods, depending on day of week. Sundays see the largest number of these markets.
The city's main source of fresh produce is the Central de Abasto. This in itself is a self-contained mini-city in Iztapalapa borough covering an area equivalent to several dozen city blocks. The wholesale market supplies most of the city's "mercados", supermarkets and restaurants, as well as people who come to buy the produce for themselves. Tons of fresh produce are trucked in from all over Mexico every day.
A staple for consumers in the city is the omnipresent "mercado". Every major neighborhood in the city has its own borough-regulated market, often more than one. These are large well-established facilities offering most basic products, such as fresh produce and meat/poultry, dry goods, tortillerías, and many other services such as locksmiths, herbal medicine, hardware goods, sewing implements; and a multitude of stands offering freshly made, home-style cooking and drinks in the tradition of aguas frescas and atole.
Street vendors ply their trade from stalls in the tianguis as well as at non-officially controlled concentrations around metro stations and hospitals; at plazas comerciales, where vendors of a certain "theme" (e.g. stationery) are housed; originally these were organized to accommodate vendors formerly selling on the street; or simply from improvised stalls on a city sidewalk. In addition, food and goods are sold from people walking with baskets, pushing carts, from bicycles or the backs of trucks, or simply from a tarp or cloth laid on the ground. In the centre of the city informal street vendors are increasingly targeted by laws and prosecution. The weekly San Felipe de Jesús Tianguis is reported to be the largest in Latin America.
The Historic Center of Mexico City is widely known for specialized, often low-cost retailers. Certain blocks or streets are dedicated to shops selling a certain type of merchandise, with areas dedicated to over 40 categories such as home appliances, lamps and electricals, closets and bathrooms, housewares, wedding dresses, jukeboxes, printing, office furniture and safes, books, photography, jewelry, and opticians. The main department stores are also represented downtown.
Large, modern chain supermarkets, hypermarkets and warehouse clubs including Soriana, Comercial Mexicana, Chedraui, Bodega Aurrerá, Walmart and Costco, are located across the city. Many anchor shopping centers that contain smaller shops, services, a food court and sometimes cinemas.
Small "mom-and-pop" corner stores ("abarroterías" or more colloquially as "changarros") abound in all neighborhoods, rich and poor. These are small shops offering basics such as soft drinks, packaged snacks, canned goods and dairy products. Thousands of C-stores or corner stores, such as Oxxo, 7-Eleven and Extra are located throughout the city.
Chapultepec Park, the city's most iconic public park, has history back to the Aztec emperors who used the area as a retreat. It is south of Polanco district, and houses the city's zoo, several ponds, seven museums including the National Museum of Anthropology, and the oldest and most traditional amusement park, La Feria de Chapultepec Mágico, with its vintage Montaña Rusa rollercoaster.
Other iconic city parks include the Alameda Central historic center, a city park since colonial times and renovated in 2013; Parque México and Parque España in the hip Condesa district; Parque Hundido and Parque de los Venados in Colonia del Valle, and Parque Lincoln in Polanco. There are many smaller parks throughout the city. Most are small "squares" occupying two or three square blocks amid residential or commercial districts.
Several other larger parks such as the Bosque de Tlalpan and Viveros de Coyoacán, and in the east Alameda Oriente, offer many recreational activities. Northwest of the city is a large ecological reserve, the Bosque de Aragón. In the southeast is the Xochimilco Ecological Park and Plant Market, a World Heritage site. West of Santa Fe district are the pine forests of the Desierto de los Leones National Park.
Amusement parks include Six Flags México, in Ajusco neighborhood which is the largest in Latin America. There are numerous seasonal fairs present in the city.
Mexico City has three zoos. Chapultepec Zoo, the San Juan de Aragon Zoo and Los Coyotes Zoo. Chapultepec Zoo is located in the first section of Chapultepec Park in the Miguel Hidalgo. It was opened in 1924. Visitors can see about 243 specimens of different species including kangaroos, giant panda, gorillas, caracal, hyena, hippos, jaguar, giraffe, lemur, lion, among others. Zoo San Juan de Aragon is near the San Juan de Aragon Park in the Gustavo A. Madero. In this zoo, opened in 1964, there are species that are in danger of extinction such as the jaguar and the Mexican wolf. Other guests are the golden eagle, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, caracara, zebras, African elephant, macaw, hippo, among others. Zoo Los Coyotes is a 27.68-acre (11.2 ha) zoo located south of Mexico City in the Coyoacan. It was inaugurated on February 2, 1999. It has more than 301 specimens of 51 species of wild native or endemic fauna from the Mexico City. You can admire eagles, ajolotes, coyotes, macaws, bobcats, Mexican wolves, raccoons, mountain lions, teporingos, foxes, white-tailed deer.
|América||Azteca Stadium||Liga MX|
|UNAM||University Olympic Stadium||Liga MX|
|Cruz Azul||Azul Stadium||Liga MX|
|Diablos Rojos del México||Fray Nano Stadium||Mexican League|
Association football is the country's most popular and most televised franchised sport. Its important venues in Mexico City include the Azteca Stadium, home to the Mexico national football team and giants América, which can seat 91,653 fans, making it the biggest stadium in Latin America. The Olympic Stadium in Ciudad Universitaria is home to the football club giants Universidad Nacional, with a seating capacity of over 52,000. The Estadio Azul, which seats 33,042 fans, is near the World Trade Center Mexico City in the Nochebuena neighborhood, and is home to the giants Cruz Azul. The three teams are based in Mexico City and play in the First Division; they are also part, with Guadalajara-based giants Club Deportivo Guadalajara, of Mexico's traditional "Big Four" (though recent years have tended to erode the teams' leading status at least in standings). The country hosted the FIFA World Cup in 1970 and 1986, and Azteca Stadium is the first stadium in World Cup history to host the final twice.
Mexico City is the first Latin American city to host the Olympic Games, having held the Summer Olympics in 1968, winning bids against Buenos Aires, Lyon and Detroit. The city hosted the 1955 and 1975 Pan American Games, the last after Santiago and São Paulo withdrew. The ICF Flatwater Racing World Championships were hosted here in 1974 and 1994. Lucha libre is a Mexican style of wrestling, and is one of the more popular sports throughout the country. The main venues in the city are Arena México and Arena Coliseo.
The Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez is the main venue for motorsport, and hosts the Formula 1 Mexican Grand Prix since its return to the sport in 2015, the event being held in the past from 1962 to 1970, and again from 1986 to 1992. From 1980 to 1981 and again from 2002 to 2007, the circuit hosted the Champ Car World Series Gran Premio de México. Beginning in 2005, the NASCAR Nationwide Series ran the Telcel-Motorola México 200. 2005 also marked the first running of the Mexico City 250 by the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. Both races were removed from their series' schedules for 2009.
Baseball is another sport played professionally in the city. Mexico City is currently home of the Mexico City Red Devils of the Mexican League, which is considered a Triple-A league by Major League Baseball. The Devils play their home games at the Fray Nano Stadium, a temporary venue until their new ballpark is completed. Mexico City has some 10 Little Leagues for young baseball players.
In 2005, Mexico City became the first city to host an NFL regular season game outside of the United States, at the Azteca Stadium. The crowd of 103,467 people attending this game was the largest ever for a regular season game in NFL history until 2009. The city has also hosted several NBA pre-season games and has hosted international basketball's FIBA Americas Championship, along with north-of-the-border Major League Baseball exhibition games at Foro Sol. In 2017, NBA commissioner Adam Silver expressed interest in placing an NBA G League expansion team in Mexico City as early as 2018.
Other sports facilities in Mexico City are the Palacio de los Deportes indoor arena, Francisco Márquez Olympic Swimming Pool, the Hipódromo de Las Américas, the Agustin Melgar Olympic Velodrome, and venues for equestrianism and horse racing, ice hockey, rugby, American-style football, baseball, and basketball.
Mexico City is Latin America's leading center for the television, music and film industries. It is also Mexico's most important for the printed media and book publishing industries. Dozens of daily newspapers are published, including El Universal, Excélsior, Reforma and La Jornada. Other major papers include Milenio, Crónica, El Economista and El Financiero. Leading magazines include Expansión, Proceso, Poder, as well as dozens of entertainment publications such as Vanidades, Quién, Chilango, TV Notas, and local editions of Vogue, GQ, and Architectural Digest.
It is also a leading center of the advertising industry. Most international ad firms have offices in the city, including Grey, JWT, Leo Burnett, Euro RSCG, BBDO, Ogilvy, Saatchi & Saatchi, and McCann Erickson. Many local firms also compete in the sector, including Alazraki, Olabuenaga/Chemistri, Terán, Augusto Elías, and Clemente Cámara, among others. There are 60 radio stations operating in the city and many local community radio transmission networks.
Mexico City was traditionally known as La Ciudad de los Palacios ("the City of the Palaces"), a nickname attributed to Baron Alexander von Humboldt when visiting the city in the 19th century, who, sending a letter back to Europe, said Mexico City could rival any major city in Europe.
During Andrés López Obrador's administration a political slogan was introduced: la Ciudad de la Esperanza ("The City of Hope"). This motto was quickly adopted as a city nickname, but has faded since the new motto Capital en Movimiento ("Capital in Movement") was adopted by the administration headed by Marcelo Ebrard, though the latter is not treated as often as a nickname in media. Since 2013, to refer to the City particularly in relation to government campaigns, the abbreviation CDMX has been used (from Ciudad de México).
The city is colloquially known as Chilangolandia after the locals' nickname chilangos. Chilango is used pejoratively by people living outside Mexico City to "connote a loud, arrogant, ill-mannered, loutish person". For their part those living in Mexico City designate insultingly those who live elsewhere as living in la provincia ("the provinces", the periphery) and many proudly embrace the term chilango. Residents of Mexico City are more recently called defeños (deriving from the postal abbreviation of the Federal District in Spanish: D.F., which is read "De-Efe"). They are formally called capitalinos (in reference to the city being the capital of the country), but "[p]erhaps because capitalino is the more polite, specific, and correct word, it is almost never utilized".
Mexico City is twinned with:
The 1968 Summer Olympics (Spanish: Juegos Olímpicos de Verano de 1968), officially known as the Games of the XIX Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event held in Mexico City, Mexico, from October 12th to the 27th.
These were the first Olympic Games to be staged in Latin America and the first to be staged in a Spanish-speaking country. They were the first Games to use an all-weather (smooth) track for track and field events instead of the traditional cinder track.
The 1968 Games were the third to be held in the last quarter of the year, after the 1956 Games in Melbourne and the 1964 Games in Tokyo. The Mexican Student Movement of 1968 happened concurrently and the Olympic Games were correlated to the government's repression.Administrative divisions of Mexico
The United Mexican States (Spanish: Estados Unidos Mexicanos) is a federal republic composed of 31 states and the capital, Mexico City, an autonomous entity on par with the states.
According to the Constitution of 1917, the states of the federation are free and sovereign in all matter concerning their internal affairs. Each state has its own congress and constitution.Alfonso Cuarón
Alfonso Cuarón Orozco (US: ; Spanish: [alˈfonso kwaˈɾon] pronunciation ; born 28 November 1961) is a Mexican film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer, and editor. His work has received critical acclaim and many accolades. He has been nominated for 10 Academy Awards and won four, including two Best Director awards for Gravity (2013) and Roma (2018). He is the first Latin American director to receive the award for Best Director. He has also received Academy Awards for Best Film Editing for Gravity and Best Cinematography for Roma. Cuarón's other notable films include the family drama A Little Princess (1995), the drama Y Tu Mamá También (2001), the fantasy film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), and the dystopian thriller Children of Men (2006).Diego Rivera
Diego María de la Concepción Juan Nepomuceno Estanislao de la Rivera y Barrientos Acosta y Rodríguez, known as Diego Rivera (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈdjeɣo riˈβeɾa]; December 8, 1886 – November 24, 1957) was a prominent Mexican painter. His large frescoes helped establish the Mexican mural movement in Mexican art. Between 1922 and 1953, Rivera painted murals in, among other places, Mexico City, Chapingo, Cuernavaca, San Francisco, Detroit, and New York City. In 1931, a retrospective exhibition of his works was held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Rivera had a volatile marriage with fellow Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.El Universal (Mexico City)
El Universal is a major Mexican newspaper.
El Universal was founded by Félix Palavicini and Emilio Rabasa in October 1916, in the city of Santiago de Queretaro to cover the end of the Mexican Revolution and the creation of the new Mexican Constitution. The circulation of the print edition of El Universal is more than 300,000 readers.
In 2013 the El Universal website claimed to have an average of more than 16 million unique visitors each month, with 140 million page views, and 4 million followers on Facebook.Aviso Oportuno is the classifieds service of El Universal. The brand has become widely known in Mexico, and the phrase Aviso Oportuno is sometimes used as a generic term for the classifieds business. This brand has four sub-sites: Inmuebles, Vehiclos, Empleos and Varios (Real Estate, Vehicles, Jobs and Miscellaneous).
News items are open to reader comments through a simple sign-up system. This system tends towards anonymity and abuse by having political operators pass as average readers discrediting political adversaries.Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo de Rivera (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈfɾiða ˈkalo]; born Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón; 6 July 1907 – 13 July 1954) was a Mexican artist who painted many portraits, self-portraits and works inspired by the nature and artifacts of Mexico. Inspired by the country's popular culture, she employed a naïve folk art style to explore questions of identity, postcolonialism, gender, class and race in Mexican society. Her paintings often had strong autobiographical elements and mixed realism with fantasy. In addition to belonging to the post-revolutionary Mexicayotl movement, which sought to define a Mexican identity, Kahlo has been described as a surrealist or magical realist.Born to a German father and a mestiza mother, Kahlo spent most of her childhood and adult life at her family home in Coyoacán, La Casa Azul, now known and publicly accessible as the Frida Kahlo Museum. She was disabled by polio as a child. Until a traffic accident at age eighteen caused lifelong pain and medical problems, she had been a promising student headed for medical school. During her recovery, she returned to her childhood hobby of art with the idea of becoming an artist.
Kahlo's interests in politics and art led to the next stage of her life. In 1927, she joined the Mexican Communist Party, through which she met fellow Mexican artist Diego Rivera, whom she married in 1928. Kahlo spent the late 1920s and early 1930s travelling in Mexico and the United States with Rivera. During this time, she developed her artistic style, drew her main inspiration from Mexican folk culture, and painted mostly small self-portraits which mixed elements from pre-Columbian and Catholic mythology. Her paintings raised the interest of Surrealist artist André Breton, who arranged for Kahlo's first solo exhibition at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York in 1938. The exhibition was a success and was followed by another in Paris in 1939. While the French exhibition was less successful, the Louvre purchased a painting from Kahlo, The Frame, making her the first Mexican artist to be featured in their collection. Throughout the 1940s, Kahlo participated in exhibitions in Mexico and the United States. She taught at the Escuela Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado "La Esmeralda" and became a founding member of the Seminario de Cultura Mexicana. Kahlo's always fragile health began to decline in the same decade. She had her first solo exhibition in Mexico in 1953, shortly before her death in 1954 at the age of 47.
Kahlo's work as an artist remained relatively unknown until the late 1970's, when her work was rediscovered by art historians and political activists. By the early 1990s, she had become not only a recognized figure in art history, but also regarded as an icon for Chicanos, the feminism movement and the LGBTQ movement. Kahlo's work has been celebrated internationally as emblematic of Mexican national and indigenous traditions and by feminists for what is seen as its uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form.Greater Mexico City
Greater Mexico City refers to the conurbation around Mexico City, officially called Valley of Mexico Metropolitan Area (Zona Metropolitana del Valle de México), constituted by Mexico City itself composed of 16 Municipalities—and 41 adjacent municipalities of the states of Mexico and Hidalgo. For normative purposes, however, Greater Mexico City most commonly refers to the Metropolitan Area of the Valley of Mexico (Zona Metropolitana del Valle de México) an agglomeration that incorporates 18 additional municipalities. As of 2016 an estimated 21,157,000 people lived in Greater Mexico City, making it the largest metropolitan area in North America. It is surrounded by thin strips of highlands which separate it from other adjacent metropolitan areas, of which the biggest are Puebla, Toluca, and Cuernavaca-Cuautla, and together with which it makes up the Mexico City megalopolis.
Since the 1940s there have been different proposals to establish the limits of the growing conurbation of Mexico City, and different definitions were used unofficially as the city continued to grow. The Federal Government (represented by the Department of Social Development), the government of Mexico City, and the government of the State of Mexico agreed on the official definitions for both the Mexico City Metropolitan Area and the Metropolitan Area of the Valley of Mexico on 22 December 2005. Per the agreement, most urban planning projects will be administered by Metropolitan Commissions.
On January 29, 2016, Mexico City proper was no longer called the Federal District (Spanish: "Distrito Federal" or D.F.). It is now in transition to become the country's 32nd federal entity, officially "City of Mexico" (Spanish: "Ciudad de México", commonly abbreviated as "CDMX"), giving it a level of autonomy comparable to that of a state. Because of a clause in the Mexican Constitution, however, since it is the seat of the powers of the federation, it can never become a state, or the capital of the country has to be relocated. The English name "Mexico City" remains. Its original 16 "Boroughs" became "municipalities".List of states of Mexico
The states of Mexico are first-level administrative territorial entities of the country of Mexico, which officially is named United Mexican States. There are 31 states and one federal entity in Mexico. Mexico City is a federal entity with a level of autonomy comparable to that of a state, but is not a state itself.The states are further divided into municipalities.Lupita Nyong'o
Lupita Amondi Nyong'o (Kenyan English: [luˈpiːtɑː ˈɲɔːŋɔ] (listen); Spanish: [luˈpita ˈɲoŋ(ɡ)o]; born March 1, 1983) is a Kenyan-Mexican actress. The daughter of Kenyan politician Peter Anyang' Nyong'o, she was born in Mexico City, where her father was teaching, and was raised in Kenya from the age of one. She attended college in the United States, earning a bachelor's degree in film and theater studies from Hampshire College.
Nyong'o began her career in Hollywood as a production assistant. In 2008, she made her acting debut with the short film East River and subsequently returned to Kenya to star in the television series Shuga (2009–2012). Also in 2009, she wrote, produced and directed the documentary In My Genes. She then pursued a master's degree in acting from the Yale School of Drama. Soon after her graduation, she had her first feature film role as Patsey in Steve McQueen's historical drama 12 Years a Slave (2013), for which she received critical acclaim and won several awards, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She became the first Kenyan and Mexican actress to win an Academy Award.Nyong'o made her Broadway debut as a teenage orphan in the critically acclaimed play Eclipsed (2015), for which she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. She went on to perform a motion capture role as Maz Kanata in the Star Wars sequel trilogy (2015–2019) and a voice role as Raksha in The Jungle Book (2016). Nyong'o's career progressed with her role as Nakia in the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero film Black Panther (2018) and her starring role in Jordan Peele's horror film Us (2019).
In addition to acting, Nyong'o supports historic preservation. She is vocal about preventing sexual harassment and working for women and animal rights. In 2014, she was named the most beautiful woman by People.Mexico City International Airport
Mexico City International Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México, AICM); officially Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juárez (Benito Juárez International Airport) (IATA: MEX, ICAO: MMMX) is an international airport that serves Greater Mexico City. It is Mexico's and Latin America's busiest airport by passenger traffic and aircraft movements. The airport sustains 35,000 jobs directly and around 15,000 indirectly in the immediate area. The airport is owned by Grupo Aeroportuario de la Ciudad de México and operated by Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxiliares, the government-owned corporation, which also operates 22 other airports throughout Mexico. In recent years Toluca Airport has become an alternate airport.This hot and high airport is served by 30 domestic and international passenger airlines and 17 cargo carriers. As the main hub for Mexico's largest airline Aeroméxico (with Aeroméxico Connect), the airport has become a SkyTeam hub. It is also a hub for Aeromar, Interjet, Volaris, and a focus city for VivaAerobus. On a typical day, more than 100,000 passengers pass through the airport to and from more than 100 destinations on four continents. In 2018, the airport handled 47,700,547 passengers, a 6.6% increase compared to 2017.Operating near the limits of its capacity, calls for replacing the airport were announced in September 2014, with the proposed location to be built 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) north-northeast of the current airport, east of Ecatepec. As of December 3, 2018, the airport is still under construction and work has not been cancelled on the new airport.Mexico City Metro
The Mexico City Metro (Spanish: Metro de la Ciudad de México), officially called Sistema de Transporte Colectivo, often shortened to STC, is a rapid transit system that serves the metropolitan area of Mexico City, including some municipalities in Mexico State. It is the second largest metro system in North America after the New York City Subway. In 2016, the system served 1.662 billion passengers, placing it as the ninth highest ridership in the world.
The inaugural STC Metro line was 12.7 kilometres (7.9 mi) long, serving 16 stations, and opened to the public on 4 September 1969. The system has expanded since then in a series of fits and starts. As of 2015, the system has 12 lines, serving 195 stations, and 226.49 kilometres (140.73 mi) of route (including the recently opened Line 12). Ten of the lines are rubber-tyred; instead of traditional steel wheels, they use pneumatic traction, which are quieter and cope better with Mexico City's unstable soils. The system survived the 1985 Mexico City earthquake.Of the STC Metro's 195 stations, 24 serve two or more lines (correspondencias or transfer stations). Many stations are named for historical figures, places, or events in Mexican history. It has 115 underground stations (the deepest of which are 35 metres (115 ft) below street level); 54 surface stations and 26 elevated stations. All lines operate from 5 a.m. to midnight.
At the end of 2007, the Federal District government announced the construction of the most recent STC Metro line, Line 12, which was built to run approximately 26 kilometres (16 mi) towards the southeastern part of the city, connecting with Lines 7, 3, 2 and 8. This line opened on 30 October 2012.The Metro has figured in Mexico's cultural history, as the inspiration for a musical composition for strings, "Metro Chabacano" and the 1982 Rodrigo "Rockdrigo" González's 1982 song, "Metro Balderas". It has also been a site for the 1990 Hollywood movie Total Recall. Public intellectual Carlos Monsiváis has commented on the cultural importance of the Metro, "a space for collective expression, where diverse social sectors are compelled to mingle every day".National Autonomous University of Mexico
The National Autonomous University of Mexico (Spanish: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, lit. 'Autonomous National University of Mexico', UNAM) is a public research university in Mexico. It ranks highly in world rankings based on the university's extensive research and innovation. UNAM's campus is a UNESCO World Heritage site that was designed by some of Mexico's best-known architects of the 20th century. Murals in the main campus were painted by some of the most recognized artists in Mexican history, such as Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros. In 2016, it had an acceptance rate of only 8%. UNAM generates a number of strong research publications and patents in diverse areas, such as robotics, computer science, mathematics, physics, human-computer interaction, history, philosophy, among others. All Mexican Nobel laureates are either alumni or faculty of UNAM.
UNAM was founded, in its modern form, on 22 September 1910 by Justo Sierra as a liberal alternative to its predecessor, the Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico. UNAM obtained its autonomy from the government in 1929. This has given the university the freedom to define its own curriculum and manage its own budget without interference from the government. This has had a profound effect on academic life at the university, which some claim boosts academic freedom and independence.UNAM was the birthplace of the student movement of 1968, which turned into a nationwide rebellion against autocratic rule and began Mexico's three-decade journey toward democracy.Palacio de Bellas Artes
The Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts) is a prominent cultural center in Mexico City. It has hosted some of the most notable events in music, dance, theatre, opera and literature and has held important exhibitions of painting, sculpture and photography. Consequently, the Palacio de Bellas Artes has been called the "Cathedral of Art in Mexico". The building is located on the western side of the historic center of Mexico City next to the Alameda Central park.
The first National Theater of Mexico was built in the late 19th century, but it was soon decided to tear this down in favor of a more opulent building in time for Centennial of the Mexican War of Independence in 1910. The initial design and construction was undertaken by Italian architect Adamo Boari in 1904, but complications arising from the soft subsoil and the political problem both before and during the Mexican Revolution, hindered then stopped construction completely by 1913. Construction began again in 1932 under Mexican architect Federico Mariscal and was completed in 1934. The exterior of the building is primarily Neoclassical and Art Nouveau and the interior is primarily Art Deco. The building is best known for its murals by Diego Rivera, Siqueiros and others, as well as the many exhibitions and theatrical performances its hosts, including the Ballet Folklórico de México.Rail transport in Mexico
Mexico has a freight railway system owned by the national government and operated by various entities under concessions (charters) granted by the national government. The railway system provides freight and passenger service throughout the country (the majority of the service is freight-oriented), connecting major industrial centers with ports and with rail connections at the United States border. Passenger rail services were limited to a number of tourist trains between 1997, when Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México suspended service, and 2008, when Ferrocarril Suburbano de la Zona Metropolitana de México inaugurated Mexico's first commuter rail service between Mexico City and the State of Mexico. This is not including the Mexico City Metro, which started service in 1969.Roma (2018 film)
Roma is a 2018 drama film written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón, who also produced, shot, and co-edited it. Set in 1970 and 1971, Roma, which is a semi-autobiographical take on Cuarón's upbringing in the Colonia Roma neighborhood of Mexico City, stars Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira and follows the life of a live-in housekeeper of a middle-class family.The film had its world premiere at the 75th Venice International Film Festival on 30 August 2018, where it won the Golden Lion. It began a limited theatrical run in the United States on 21 November 2018, before streaming on Netflix in the US and other territories starting on 14 December 2018. The film received universal acclaim, with particular praise given to Cuarón's screenplay, direction and cinematography, as well as Aparicio's and de Tavira's performances.
Roma received a number of accolades, with ten nominations at the 91st Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress (Aparicio) and Best Supporting Actress (de Tavira). It became the first Mexican entry to win Best Foreign Language Film, and also won for Best Cinematography and Best Director, becoming the first foreign language film to win in the last category, as well as marking the first time a director won Best Cinematography for their own film. It was tied with The Favourite as the most-nominated film of the show, and with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) for the most Academy Award nominations ever received by a non-English language film. It also won Best Director and Best Foreign Language Film at the 76th Golden Globe Awards, Best Picture and Best Director at the 24th Critics' Choice Awards, and Best Film, Best Film Not in the English Language, Best Direction and Best Cinematography at the 72nd British Academy Film Awards.Tenochtitlan
Tenochtitlan (Nahuatl languages: Mēxihco Tenōchtitlan pronounced [meːˈʃiʔko tenoːt͡ʃˈtit͡ɬan]; Spanish: Tenochtitlán or México-Tenochtitlán) was a large Mexica city-state in what is now the center of Mexico City. The exact date of the founding of the city is unclear, but the most commonly accepted date is March 13, 1325. The city was built on an island in what was then Lake Texcoco in the Valley of Mexico. The city was the capital of the expanding Aztec Empire in the 15th century until it was captured by the Spanish in 1521.
At its peak, it was the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas. It subsequently became a cabecera of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. Today, the ruins of Tenochtitlan are in the historic center of the Mexican capital. The World Heritage Site of Xochimilco contains what remains of the geography (water, boats, floating gardens) of the Mexica capital.
Tenochtitlan was one of two Mexica āltēpetl (city-states or polities) on the island, the other being Tlatelolco.Tlatelolco massacre
Following a summer of increasingly large demonstrations in Mexico City protesting the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, armed forces of Mexico opened fire October 2, 1968 on unarmed civilians, killing an undetermined number, likely in the hundreds. It occurred in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in the Tlatelolco section of Mexico City. The events are considered part of the Mexican Dirty War, when the government used its forces to suppress political opposition. The massacre occurred 10 days before the opening of the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.
The head of the Federal Directorate of Security reported that 1,345 people were arrested. At the time, the government and the media in Mexico claimed that government forces had been provoked by protesters shooting at them, but government documents made public since 2000 suggest that snipers had been employed by the government. According to US national security archives, Kate Doyle, a Senior Analyst of US policy in Latin America, documented the deaths of 44 people; however, estimates of the actual death toll range from 300 to 400, with eyewitnesses reporting hundreds dead.Valley of Mexico
The Valley of Mexico (Spanish: Valle de México; Nahuatl languages: Tepētzallāntli Mēxihco) is a highlands plateau in central Mexico roughly coterminous with present-day Mexico City and the eastern half of the State of Mexico. Surrounded by mountains and volcanoes, the Valley of Mexico was a centre for several pre-Columbian civilizations, including Teotihuacan, the Toltec, and the Aztec. The ancient Aztec term Anahuac (Land Between the Waters) and the phrase Basin of Mexico are both used at times to refer to the Valley of Mexico. The Basin of Mexico became a well known site that epitomized the scene of early Classic Mesoamerican cultural development as well.
The Valley of Mexico is located in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt.
The valley contains most of the Mexico City Metropolitan Area, as well as parts of the State of Mexico, Hidalgo, Tlaxcala and Puebla. The Valley of Mexico can be subdivided into four basins, but the largest and most-studied is the area which contains Mexico City. This section of the valley in particular is colloquially referred to as the "Valley of Mexico".
The valley has a minimum elevation of 2,200 meters (7,200 ft) above sea level and is surrounded by mountains and volcanoes that reach elevations of over 5,000 meters (16,000 ft). It is an enclosed valley with no natural outlet for water to flow and a gap to the north where there is a high mesa but no high mountain peaks. Within this vulnerable watershed all the native fishes were extinct by the end of the 20th century. Hydrologically, the valley has three features. The first feature is the lakebeds of five now-extinct lakes, which are located in the southernmost and largest of the four sub-basins. The other two features are piedmont, and the mountainsides that collect the precipitation that eventually flows to the lake area. These last two are found in all four of the sub-basins of the valley. Today, the Valley drains through a series of artificial canals to the Tula River, and eventually the Pánuco River and the Gulf of Mexico. Seismic activity is frequent here, and the valley is considered an earthquake prone zone.The valley has been inhabited for at least 12,000 years, attracting humans with its mild climate (average temperatures between 12 and 15 °C, or 54 and 59 °F), abundant game and ability to support large-scale agriculture. Civilizations that have arisen in this area include the Teotihuacan (800 BC to 800 AD) the Toltec Empire (10th to 13th century) and the Aztec Empire (1325 to 1521). When the Spaniards arrived in the Valley of Mexico, it had one of the highest population concentrations in the world with about one million people. After the Conquest, the Spaniards rebuilt the largest and most dominant city here, Tenochtitlan, renaming it Mexico City. The valley used to contain five lakes called Lake Zumpango, Lake Xaltocan, Lake Xochimilco, Lake Chalco, and the largest, Texcoco covering about 1,500 square kilometers (580 sq mi) of the valley floor, but as the Spaniards expanded Mexico City, they began to drain the lakes' waters to control flooding. Although violence and disease significantly lowered the population of the valley after the Conquest, by 1900 it was again over one million people. The 20th and 21st centuries have seen an explosion of population in the valley along with the growth of industry. Since 1900, the population has doubled every fifteen years. Today, around 21 million people live in the Mexico City Metropolitan Area which extends throughout almost all of the valley into the states of Mexico and Hidalgo.The growth of a major urban, industrial centre in an enclosed basin has created significant air and water quality issues for the valley. Wind patterns and thermal inversions trap contaminants in the valley. Over-extraction of ground water has caused new flooding problems for the city as it sinks below the historic lake floor. This causes stress on the valley's drainage system, requiring new tunnels and canals to be built.Volaris
Volaris, legally Concesionaria Vuela Compañía de Aviación, S.A.B. de C.V. (BMV: VOLARA, NYSE: VLRS), is a Mexican low-cost airline based in Santa Fe, Álvaro Obregón, Mexico City with its hubs in Guadalajara, Mexico City, and Tijuana, and focus cities in Cancún, León, Los Angeles, and Monterrey. It is the country's second largest airline after Aeroméxico and serves domestic and international destinations within the Americas. It is a leading competitor in the Mexican domestic airline market, with a market share of over 21% of domestic traffic.
|Climate data for Mexico City (Tacubaya), 1981–2000 normals, extremes 1921-2000|
|Record high °C (°F)||28.2
|Average high °C (°F)||21.7
|Daily mean °C (°F)||14.6
|Average low °C (°F)||7.4
|Record low °C (°F)||−4.1
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||7.6
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)||2.2||2.5||4.1||6.8||12.9||18.7||23.2||20.9||18.2||9.6||3.8||2.0||124.8|
|Average relative humidity (%)||51||47||41||43||51||63||69||69||70||64||57||54||56|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||240||234||268||232||225||183||176||176||157||194||232||236||2,555|
|Source: Colegio de Postgraduados (extremes) Servicio Meteorológico Nacional (normals, precipitation and sunshine hours 1981–2000)|
|Climate data for Mexico City (Tacubaya), 1961–1990 normals|
|Record high °C (°F)||28.0
|Average high °C (°F)||21.3
|Daily mean °C (°F)||13.4
|Average low °C (°F)||6.5
|Record low °C (°F)||−1.4
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||9
|Average rainy days||2||2||4||9||13||19||24||22||19||10||3||3||130|
|Average relative humidity (%)||55.5||53.5||51.5||52.5||55||59||64||67.5||65||62||57||58||58.4|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||208.2||212.1||228.6||209.4||196.9||152.6||144.2||158.4||139.1||177.0||198.5||186.5||2,211.5|
|Source: NOAA amd Climatebase.ru (extremes)|