Alternative Futures for the Region of La Paz Baja California Sur, Mexico

fac_pub_steinitz_alternative_futures_la_pazThe City of La Paz is rapidly approaching an important crossroads. Can La Paz maintain its character, sustain the quality of life for its inhabitants and continue to prosper as the region grows? Or will the forces of growth overwhelm the capacity of the region to manage itself, leading to an erosion of its economic, social and environmental foundations? These questions are at the heart of a study carried out by a bi-national team and presented here.

The joint study by faculty and researchers from Harvard University, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur, University of Arizona, and Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas seeks to assist regional leaders in assessing alternative futures for the development and conservation of the La Paz region. The study looks at a range of scenarios to investigate how economic performance demographic changes, private and public investments, and public policy choices could influence urban growth and land use change over the next 20 years. The study also assesses how these changes will impact the area’s hydrology and ecology, as well as its visual and economic landscape.

The future for La Paz will be influenced by the decisions taken, or not taken, by regional leaders in the immediate future. The aim of decision making to shape a future that reflects the values and priorities of the people of La Paz.

Additional Authors
Harvard University: Robert Faris, Michael Flaxman, Juan Carlos Vargas-Moreno, Guoping Huang, Shiau-Yun Lu , Tess Canfield
Universidad Autonoma de Baja California Sur: Óscar Arizpe, Manuel Ángeles, Micheline Cariño, Fausto Santiago
University of Arizona: Tom Maddock III, Carolyn Lambert, Kathryn Baird
Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas: Lucio Godínez

In cooperation with the Municipality of La Paz, B.C.S. and the State of Baja California Sur,

International Community Foundation, 2006

La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Fundació Mexícana para la Educación Ambiental, A.C.