Unsupported Browser

We've detected an older browser version that will not give you the best experience while using The Atlas. Please consider revisitng this site after downloading one of the alternatives below.

Mexico’s Leading Tech Institution Develops 20 Year Campus Plan to Build a Community of Innovators

Tlalpan, CDMX, Mexico

Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Mexico City, one of the top research and academic institutions in Mexico, implemented a data-driven economic and urban development plan to position itself as a talent pipeline for Mexico City's developing innovation-based entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Topics Covered

Workforce & Education


General Fund/Existing Public Funds

Project Status

In Progress/Under Construction since 2021

Problem Addressed

Instituto Tecnológico y De Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Tlalpan Ciudad de México (CDMX) is one of the leading research and academic institutions in Mexico, well regarded for the broad range and the quality of its programs as well as its leadership in the development of entrepreneurship.

The institute faced the challenge of growing competitive interdisciplinary academic programs that match current technological development and align with the campus’s goals of becoming a pipeline of talent for industries in Mexico City.

Located in the world’s 7th largest city, the Ciudad de México campus (CCM) in Tlalpan is situated in the Southern Region of Mexico City, but the campus had many urban planning problems and an unclear sense of how to align its mission of catalyzing knowledge-based innovation within the territory nearby. Startups do not currently aggregate around the Ciudad de México campus and there are few industry centers nearby other than a healthcare hub. Even though Mexico City accounts for one-quarter of Mexico’s total GDP, there is still a lack of an economic hub near Tlalpan.

Mexico City’s appeal to companies is very strong, therefore the Ciudad de México campus had the potential to train, retain, attract, and develop talent for new and existing industries. The challenge was how to determine the best way to boost the competitiveness in this zone as well as attract, retain, and effectively connect top students and researchers within the University's budget.

Solutions Used

The Ciudad de México campus worked with Aretian in creating an urban design plan to better align academic programs with the goal of supplying a talent pipeline to the city’s growing industries.

The plan was informed by data-driven recommendations gathered from the local and regional economies. The data analyzed the area’s industries and talent network as well as the institute’s design configuration and innovation performance, allowing the team to formulate a 15-year plan centered on innovation and growth.

Part of the growth strategy targeted bringing more research and innovation talent to the institute. An economic competitiveness analysis revealed that the economically complex industries around the Ciudad de México campus make it likely to form connections with local industry and attract top researchers and students. After benchmarking CDMX against other innovation districts, Aretian found that increasing research employment figures would result in more competitive academic programs. With more research talent and entrepreneurs, the institute can actively contribute to Mexico City’s growth as an intermediary with local industry.

To help attract talent and foster collaboration between its new research employees and local industries, Aretian recommended that the Ciudad de México campus redesign its layout based on the Fractal City Plan, which facilitates placemaking, connection, collaboration, and identity. To do this, Aretian proposed building a network of 5 knowledge transfer centers to directly connect applied research fields with startups and innovative companies, each strategically located within the fractal city plan.

The Startup Incubator, centrally located, would house meeting spaces, and offer resources for starting a business. The Innovation Hub would have brainstorming centers to help students innovate and promote ideas. The Design Marker Space would be an engineering work facility conducive to designing prototypes and manifesting new ideas. The Biotech Facilities are two buildings, one a Biotechnology Lab, and one a Clinical Research Lab, that would provide space for academic programs, health-related research, and practice. The GovTech lab would provide classrooms and meeting spaces for students to address challenges around civics and governance.

Between the new campus infrastructure and the use of Mexico City’s comparative industry advantage to attract new talent, the Ciudad de México campus has a clear plan to institute changes that will make its academic programs more competitive, as well as achieve its goal of establishing a pipeline to foster talent for the industries of Mexico City.

Jose Antonio Torres, Director of Urban Planning, Sustainability and Infrastructure commented that “Aretian's support has provided us with analysis, evidence and international references that allow us to focus our efforts to transform DistritoTec into an innovation district that drives the sustainable development of our city, state and country.”



The Ciudad de México campus has a plan to foster a highly qualified pool of talent that will directly contribute to the city’s innovation and growth


Strategic Fields of Research were identified, giving the institute crucial insight into which programs to prioritize to stay abreast of developing industries


Expanded research workforce and proximity to local industries should result in more effective linkage, fulfilling the Institute's goal


Data-driven analysis shows that the campus’ new focus should facilitate the creation of between 600-800 startups, further contributing to Mexico City’s economy


Creation of an Innovation Platform, a user-friendly tool that allows users to familiarize themselves with the Ciudad de México campus project's goals and challenges

Who Should Consider

Universities or cities looking to institute a data-driven analytical approach to urban and economic development necessary for city growth.

Last Updated

Feb 25th, 2022
More Local Gov Case Studies from The Atlas Database
The Atlas case study database features examples of city projects – including both earth-moving projects and installed technologies – from around the world. You will not find proposed projects, or links to research studies and planning documents. There are 500+ member submitted case studies to browse - see related case studies to this one below:
Browse All Case Studies