Urban growth in Mazatlan does not benefit the population


Without inhabiting the fourth part of Mazatlán; more than two thousand hectares are abandoned land and buildings

Mazatlan , Sinaloa. – From the heart of the port, starting from the Historic Center or Old Mazatlan to the outskirts of the urban sprawl, there are abandoned and dilapidated houses, unused vacant lots, totaling more than two thousand hectares that represent the fourth part of the city.

With the passage of time, this phenomenon of gradual depopulation of space has led to an excessive urban expansion with negative consequences.

Its effect goes beyond the high cost of bringing public services to colonies far from the city center, including longer travel distances, more time and expense in transportation, peak traffic jams, accident risks, insecurity, among many others.

Houses of the Historic Center or Old Mazatlan.

Currently, three of every four inhabitants live in the peripheral zone of Mazatlan, while 75% of the work sources are in the city center, and 68% of the schools are located in the central zone.

This means that 81% of the work and school population coincide at the same time to move to their homes, to school or to work, saturating the road capacity at certain times of the day.

When traffic increases, demand for road space is generated that exceeds the available capacity of cruises and avenues, causing: increase of time in the route, oversaturation of roads and a greater number of accidents.

This story is repeated every day during the week, mainly in the hours of entry and exit of schools and work centers.

Hence, 35% of daily trips are made in three peak hours, and 65% in the remaining 21 hours.

According to Implan studies, the trend points to the increase of peak hours in the city.


This problem goes back to the decade of the ’60s when Mazatlán stopped being seen as a port of maritime commerce to project itself as a tourist destination for sun and sand.

Until then what is now known as Historic Center or Old Mazatlan, was the entire city, which concentrated the urban, social, economic, recreational, religious and cultural activities of society.

From there, the city began to locate coastal territories to exercise its activity, generating urban overflow, first with the aim of locating areas for hotels to attract a new tourist market, and second, with the intention of a residential housing development.

Later, the worker housing areas would come, and much later, the appearance of social and popular housing, until reaching the irregular settlements in high-risk areas, such as on the shores of estuaries, streams and marshlands.


The offer of the real estate market of “modern” homes, the aging of the population and the roots that older generations showed with their territory, meant that the Historical Center was losing population in the face of generational changes.

Of the 10 thousand 560 buildings of the Historic Center, 21%, that is, 2 thousand 253 are uninhabited, according to the Program of Repopulation of the Partial Plan of the Historical Center of Mazatlan.

This is from Gutierrez Najera Avenue to the navigation channel, including all the colonies that are located between Gabriel Leyva Avenue and the Malecón, in its sections of Paseo Claussen, Centenario and Olas Altas. It includes dwellings of the Center and of the colonies Lázaro Cárdenas, Gabriel Leyva and skirts of the hill of the Bishopric.

Implan calculations reveal that Old Mazatlán, what is now the Historic Center, is inhabited by 27,800 people, which means 6% of the total population of the city.

According to the Master Plan for Urban Development, in general, the city of Mazatlan has 7,895 hectares, in which surface there are 368 colonies and 70 new irregular settlements, where 438 thousand 434 inhabitants live.

Of this extension, two thousand 92 hectares are vacant and abandoned real estate with all the urban infrastructure and services.

It is estimated that there are more than 22 thousand houses abandoned, dispossessed and in poor conditions, mainly in colonies such as Santa Fe, Santa Teresa and Urbi Villas.

Currently, a proposal is being discussed at the State Congress to recover those Infonavit homes and reassign them to the families that really need it, as the demographic growth generates a housing demand of three thousand houses in the port.

Although the new urban development policies oblige governments to promote growth inwardly and vertically, to take advantage of the gaps in cities, Mazatlan continues to grow towards the sides: last October, the Cabildo of the previous The administration approved six new subdivisions in the port, one in the south of the city, in the ejido El Castillo, three in the Marina Mazatlán area, another in Cerritos and one more in Real del Valle, thus promoting urban expansion and, with it, , its consequences.


2,092 hectares are unoccupied land and buildings.

22,000 HOUSES abandoned, dispossessed and in poor condition are estimated to be in the city.

2,253 properties are uninhabited in the Historic Center.


3 out of every 4 inhabitants live in the peripheral zone of Mazatlan.

75% of the work sources are located in the city center.

68% of the schools are located in the central zone.


A quarter of the urbanized city is untapped.


168 schools

29 health units

2 administrative units

13,324 economic units with employment


79 schools

5 health units

0 administrative units

4,458 economic units with employment


-Less inhabitants taking advantage of each urbanized hectare

– Higher cost to bring public services to the periphery

-More travel distances

-More time and more spending on transportation

-Congestion during peak hours on cruises and main roads

SOURCE: IMPLAN, El Sol de Mazatlan

The Mazatlan Post