Green Infrastructure and Social Welfare. Lessons for Sustainable Urban Development in the Metropolitan Zone of Leon, Mexico

  • Jairo Agustín Reyes PlataEmail author
  • Mónica Elías Orozco
  • Iliana Zuri Jiménez Villaseñor
Part of the World Sustainability Series book series (WSUSE)


Making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable is a goal of sustainable development (Sustainable Development Goal 11, SDG 11). To achieve sustainable cities, urban planning of natural spaces must contribute to deal with the socioenvironmental challenges brought by urbanization. However, planning strategies for green infrastructure are frequently skewed toward ecological aspects. Such a unidimensional perspective in the development of planning tools may have a poor contribution to social welfare. Therefore, there is a need for integrating the social aspects to achieve effective planning, and to recognize the social contributions of green infrastructure. The objective of this study is to diagnose the functions and dysfunctions of green infrastructure, as well as its contributions to the social welfare in the Metropolitan Zone of Leon, Mexico. The area of study is characterized by an accelerated urban growth in one of the most dynamic industrial regions in the country. The methodology includes an assessment of green infrastructure components of its distribution. An evaluation of welfare-related social context was also conducted. Main results showed that (i) green infrastructure can be a strategic approach for the land sustainability, (ii) the metropolitan area of Leon showed the existence of key green infrastructure components and reveled a fragmented network of natural spaces and (iii) people perceived social and environmental functions and dysfunctions from green infrastructure components. This study has concluded that an effective planning approach to green infrastructure should integrate functions and dysfunctions related to social context. This approach may contribute to create more sustainable cities with benefits for all people.


Green infrastructure Social welfare Quality of life Urban sustainability Planning 



This work was supported by  UNAM-PAPIIT IA402418.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jairo Agustín Reyes Plata
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mónica Elías Orozco
    • 2
  • Iliana Zuri Jiménez Villaseñor
    • 2
  1. 1.Escuela Nacional de Estudios Superiores, Unidad León, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoLeónMéxico
  2. 2.Universidad Iberoamericana LeónLeónMéxico

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