Quality of Life

Vision of Quality of Life

The U.S.-Mexico transborder region will be strengthened by an active approach to improving the region’s quality of life. Therefore, transborder regional planning and community development efforts should be aimed at achieving the highest possible quality of life and well-being for all the residents on both sides of the border. Quality of life has been defined broadly by the region’s decision makers and they agreed on a set of fundamental dimensions.

A healthy life: A condition for a healthy life along the border is the creation of a binational health system offering affordable and high quality care to residents on both sides of the border.

Education: The region will offer high quality education to all its residents as a mean to improve their employment opportunities in a highly globalized economy.

Livable communities: The region will have a diversity of housing, transportation, and recreation choices within its cities and towns, and its residents will have equitable access to employment, education, healthcare, open space, security and other collective assets.

Regional identity: The uniqueness of the region’s binational and diverse culture will be celebrated as one of its strengths.

Opportunities for all: Opportunities should be available to all citizens and legal residents on both sides of the border to enjoy the benefits of their respective country’s improved growth and prosperity resulting from regional development. These opportunities should also come with appropriate responsibilities.

Global Engagement: Through appropriate infrastructure investments, the region will remain connected to the global and North American communities, a condition that is necessary to maintain a high quality of life in the transborder region.

Strategies for Quality of Life

The improvement of quality of life and the expansion of opportunities for everyone
living in the transborder region are two overarching strategies reiterated by the region’s stakeholders. In order to achieve the vision of quality of life wanted for the region, focus should be centered on the following strategies:

 Oportunities for a healthy life

  1. Increase capacity and homogenize procedures to collect, analyze and exchange data about border public health.
  2. Create and keep an updated reference library and data repository that can be accessed by medical personnel on both sides of the border.
  3. Increase the competency of healthcare professionals in surveillance methodologies.
  4. Improve access to health services through the development of medical infrastructure, but also by fomenting and acknowledging the contribution of alternative models of health care delivery.

Livable and safe cities

  1. Develop and support the planning and regulatory capacity of municipalities and establish systems to monitor and evaluate the performance of planning offices along the border.
  2. Educate local communities about the benefits of compact development and flexible land use as a way to reduce infrastructure costs and car dependency.
  3. Create mechanisms to share planning experiences binationally and identify a set of best practices that can help cities in the transborder region to become livable spaces.
  4. Create open-space systems using urban rivers and washes as green corridors or linear parks than can function as recreational areas, as environmental buffers, and as components of a flood-control system.
  5. Revitalize the downtown areas of cities along the border.

Education and employment

  1. Transform the border’s bilingualism into a true comparative economic advantage.
  2. More outreach and information describing the characteristics of the U.S. and Mexican educational systems.
  3. Establish programs and policies that allow Mexican Border States to embark on a long-term effort to increase the level of educational attainment of the general population up to high school.
  4. Promote programs in the U.S. border communities to close the gap between their own level of education and the national benchmark.

Poverty and social inequalities

  1. Improved access to water in urban and rural communities.
  2. Expand sewage and trash collection.
  3. Improve and expand public transportation.
  4. Make available access to parks, open space, and recreational opportunities year around.
  5. BECC must coordinate with HUD and SEDESOL to improve living conditions in “colonias” in the United States and informal settlements in Mexico.