Laboratorio para la Ciudad

 Urban laboratory inviting to reimagine the city by creating dialogues between citizens and public institutions


The Lab is the experimental and creative area of the government of Mexico City. It is a space for testing, in which new ways of approaching relevant city issues are launched. There, pilot projects are incubated, and multidisciplinary meetings around civic innovation and urban creativity are promoted, in collaboration with other government agencies, the civil society, academia, and IP.


  • 400 civil servant trained
  • 500 programmers gathered
  • 20 new databases available from 13 different ministries
  • 52 app prototypes answering different citizen needs
  • 5 digital tools developed

Did you know?

The Lab is a hybrid and fluctuating space that suggests a new way of doing politics and constructing the city, trying to stay closer to current practices. In other words, being more open to the outside world. The average age of the team is 29 years old and it includes experts in artificial intelligence, urban geographers, artists, designers, architects, filmmakers, journalists, historians, etc. who report directly to the Head of Government.

The Lab space has also become a symbol as it has turned into a place of debate, ideas and meetings, showing that the government’s doors are open for other than complaints and services.

Sustainability and Replicability

Urban labs already exist in other cities around the world. Even though each city is different, and each lab is developed and operated according to different local realities, the initiative’s basic elements are replicable. Currently, the Lab is already working with other cities that have approached it in an attempt to replicate the initiative.

However, to encourage replicability, there is a need to close ties between cities and to promote and disseminate their experiences. In this regard, the Lab is working to share its experiences and case studies, both within the city and with other cities around the world seeking to promote civic innovation and better cities.

Lessons learned

Usually, people think about governments as slow, bureaucratic and stagnated structures. However, they are also a big machine to build cities. Therefore, it is important to break down institutional and interdisciplinar barriers to co-create the city.

In general, citizens are interested in participating actively in the construction of better cities. This talent is in itself an important asset as it can serve to innovate, but it is necessary to find a good way to incubate and channel this citizen capacity.

Take Action

Do you have a proposal to improve the dialogue between citizens and public institutions in your city? Contact the Laboratorio para la Ciudad for help on how to develop it. 

Initiative 11



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