biggest city in the world : The « Insurgentes » Avenue,
which parts the city, gives an idea of the dimension of Mexico
. Starting from the North of the city, by the Pachuca
freeway (the one you take to go to Teotihuacán
pyramids), it is only a straight line crossed by a «glorieta
» that divides it in two parts (South Insurgentes and North
Insurgentes), before ending at the very South, by the freeway going
, a neighbor city.
This avenue is 50 km (32 miles) long, with three to five lanes in
both ways. These two ways are divided by the elevated railroad in
the Northern part.
Veritable megalopolis : Stretching out on more than 3000 km2, Mexico
became, with 23 millions of inhabitants (with the surroundings),
one of the most populated (2nd after Tokyo) and the noisiest cities
in the world. From an administrative point of view, Mexico
is not a «city» but a Federal district.
The mayor is elected by direct universal suffrage.
The city lies in the bottom of a vast valley, at an elevation of
more than 2240 m, dominated by the majestic summits of the Popocatépetl
(still active), Iztaccihuatl and the Sierras that merge there. Thanks
to a program of alternated circulation « Hoy no circulo »
and the efforts (still insufficient) from the municipality since
about fifteen years (it opens green ways and close fabrics and cement
works), the automobile traffic has been reduced by 20%.
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, 14% of the city surface
was occupied by green ways and only 2.2% nowadays (2008).
This city, protected by the mountains, enjoyed a pleasant microclimate
(an annual average of 22° C or 66° F) for years, but the
air remains, today, very polluted because of the development of
the traffic and the industrial activity. 3.5 million automobiles
circulate every day; 7 million users a day take the subway or
the collective transportation. Yet, the architectural wealth and
the unusual atmosphere reigning there make this city an attractive
The architecture is low. Not building too high is due to a sure
wisdom since earthquakes are frequent and sometimes deadly like
the one in September 1985.
In the business neighborhood, from Polanco to the Park of Alameda,
along the Paseo de la Reforma, the chic Avenue of Mexico, or Insurgentes-South,
stand high glass buildings that underline the rivalry of Mexico
City with the American cities : Mexico
City, sister of Houston or Los Angeles.
The capital has two zones on the UNESCO World Heritage
List : the Historic center
and the park of Xochimilco.
The Historic center, invested with nice religious and historic edifices
like the Metropolitan
Cathedral, one of the most important architectonic monuments
in America, the National Palace, where you could admire in the patio
the impressing murals from Diego Rivera, which tell the story of
Mexico and the Palace
of Fine Arts, wonderful edifice famous for its style both art
nouveau and art deco.
Mexico City is a city
full of History. Mexico is a nation that heads
up the level of the "big" among the world because of its
efforts in every area. It also knew to keep the sense of celebration,
art and adventure.