Zenciti is a proposed smart city to be located in the city of Mérida in the Yucatan Peninsula. It’s a collaboration between the University of Miami’s School of Architecture, Center for Computational Science, and College of Engineering, the Responsive Architecture and Design Lab (RAD-UM Lab), as well as the Heuristic, Yucatan State Government’s Information Technologies Innovation Center.
“Instances where smart cities are designed and implemented from scratch are very rare. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to design a hyper-connected city where urban infrastructure, municipal services, and social activities are orchestrated into a vibrant and sustainable environment,” said Rodolphe el-Khoury, the Dean of the School of Architecture and Director of the RAD-UM Lab.
Zenciti came about when a group of developers and leaders in the IT industry realized the opportunities possible in the growing knowledge economy of Yucatan that is developing due to its strategic geographic location and various other social and economic circumstances, including the Yucatan Science and Technology Park – established by the National Autonomous University of Mexico – located 30 minutes from downtown Mérida. Zenciti will bring into play, among other things, a hub for tech startups that should create a synergy with the science park and help fuel development.
Named after the switched syllables in the word “citizen,” ZenCiti will use technology to monitor everyday functions, such as transportation and sewer systems, in order to help them reach their maximum capacity and efficiency. It will occupy roughly 650 acres and will provide 6,000 jobs in the area, on top of the 4,000 that will be created by the science and technology park.