Capital Natural is a Mexican company that does business developments with the vision of creating sustainable projects that will provide a better way of living for the community. Among some of those projects are “Sofia” and “Arboleda”, located in San Pedro, Nuevo Leon in Mexico, which are real state developments with apartments, offices, specialized boutiques, restaurants and open spaces surrounded with nature.
Recently, in 2013, they started a new project called “Distrito Valle del Campestre” with other entities, such as the community, neighbors, schools, companies in the area and the government, to create a better living for the citizens by the development of a sustainable area. Distrito Valle del Campestre (DVC) will reach 6,000 hectares, creating more walking spaces and green areas and reducing traffic.
DVC meets perfectly the mission and vision of Capital Natural, which state that the company wants to create better cities that enhance people’s way of living, by creating economic opportunities and promoting a better urban infrastructure for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles.
As we can see, this project meets goal 11 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals: making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
MARIA BEATRIZ GOMEZ
EGADE Business School Tecnologico de Monterrey
San Pedro Garza García is a city with few and generally underdeveloped open and walking spaces, as well as green areas. This city’s main activities include industrial factories and a lot of corporate companies who do not take action to ameliorate the poor environmental conditions their companies have created. Due to the commercial developments and fast city growth on the last few years, the pollution has been rising dramatically over this period of time.
So, as Bernardo Martínez, Project Manager of Capital Natural, mentions: “innovation consists of being one step ahead of people’s needs and desires, searching for a solution that will benefit the community as quickly as possible”. Capital Natural understood the need to develop new solutions to present and future problems, by improving the infrastructure, environment and way of living of the community. They gathered with different stakeholders in the area and together developed a project with the intention of reducing the current problems and taking a better advantage of the open spaces, which are not efficiently managed.
After a 4 year study, with diverse specialized companies and business people from different countries, in topics like ecology, urbanism, mobility, sociology, landscaping, among other, this group of stakeholders developed Distrito Valle del Campestre, an integral solution for the many problems being faced in the area. Among their planned improvements are the following:
● Improve quality and functionality of roads and streets, while improving the flow of traffic.
● Improve size and quality of sidewalks to make them safe for pedestrians.
● Underground wiring for all involved services.
● Create green areas.
● Create an ecosystem by planting regional trees that help reduce pollution and attract different types of animals.
Goal 11 states that the best version of a city is the one that enables its citizens to improve socially and economically. We can see a definite similarity with this project, Distrito Valle del Campestre was inspired by the idea that a better, more human, city is created by better communities: “Capital Natural focuses on developing the sense of community that we have been losing throughout the years, because of the insecurity, we want neighbors to know each other again and to understand the environment in which they are coexisting” (Martínez, 2017). DVC is developed by a community in need of a better quality of life, based on a comprehensive infrastructure that will enhance a change in culture. This project impacts and improves communities by creating public spaces where there is a balance between the environment, people and infrastructure. DVC’s goal is that the open spaces foment relationships of trust, plurality, sense of community and security. To achieve these goals, DVC is guided by the following principles: Improve accessibility and proximity, improve connectivity for different types of mobility (walking, bikes, cars, etc.), preserve residential areas and create a net of green spaces.
DVC has a positive impact on Capital Natural, by having office and commercial buildings in this area, the company will generate better revenues because of the popularity developed by this project. Also, the impact on the community will be noticed in the improvement of people’s quality of life by changes in the environment, mobility, connectivity, sense of community, safety and security, through the creation of open, sustainable and intelligent spaces, that are, as Bernardo mentions, “in much need now that the city has been transitioning into a vertical way of living, changing big houses for a apartment buildings, and feeling a need to find good public places where they can spend their free time”. Finally, this sustainable spaces will have a positive effect on the environment: the creation of numerous green areas will increase the quality of air, and the improvements of the urban infrastructure will reduce the use of vehicles, thus decreasing the pollution generated on a daily basis.
Therefore, as we’ve mentioned the short term effects of DVC will be noticeable in the way of living of the stakeholders, people in the area will be able to walk to school or work and enjoy the recreative spaces in their free time. And, in the future, this model will be replicated in different cities, improving the overall quality of life in the country.
This positive effects can already be seen: “we did an intervention in Roble Street, which won the XIX Bienal of Architecture prize for best “Urban furniture, plazas and sidewalks”, where there was a good 8 to 10 meters of space that was not used; we made a plaza, with urban furniture, trees, different landscape elements, etc.; it has been functioning for a couple of months and people do appreciate the space, taking care of it, because they feel it as theirs.’” (Martínez, 2017).
Increasing the flux of people and the average commercial expenditure around the area, by the creation of new businesses, and ease to access this development. Therefore, Capital Natural will definitely be benefited as its own developments, such as Sofia and Arboledas, will acquire more attention of the community, by being a part of this common space.
As Bernardo said: “the city growth has been marked by tendencies to disconnect ourselves from our community and environment, so we are trying to counteract this behaviors by developing open, common and public spaces that will benefit us all”. Due to the size of the project and its expected impact on the area, it will shift ways of living in several ways:
● Provide green areas that allow people to enjoy this green environment.
● Fomenting pedestrian transit, thus reducing pollution and the use of vehicles.
● Improve healthy lifestyle by promoting attractive walking areas.
● Sense of safety.
● Sense of community belonging.
● Less visual pollution by underground wiring.
● Create more jobs due to the new businesses in the area.
● Promote unity values.
● Provide a safe space to enjoy life
● Improve the overall quality of life.
Bernardo Martínez González, Project Manager at Capital Natural
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San Pedro Garza García, Nuevo León, México
Business Website: http://www.capitalnatural.com.mx
Year Founded: 2013
Number of Employees: 11-50