Green Belt Implementation in Arid Lands through Soil Reconditioning and Landscape Design: The Case of Hermosillo, Mexico

Adriana A. Zuniga-Teran, Blanca González-Méndez, Christina Scarpitti, Bo Yang, Joaquin Murrieta Saldivar, Irene Pineda, Guadalupe Peñúñuri, Eduardo Hinojosa Robles, Kassandra Soto Irineo, Sergio Müller, Javier Valencia-Sauceda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Green belts are an urban planning approach meant to address urban sprawl and enhance resilience. Many Latin American cities located in arid lands would benefit from the green belt; however, little is known about the factors that determine green belt implementation in these regions. The purpose of this study is to fill this gap by examining the case of Hermosillo, Mexico, a rapidly growing city located in a desert environment with an envisioned green belt. A cross-disciplinary team worked with city officials and NGOs to implement a portion of the green belt by identifying suitable soils to locate and design a park within strategic segments of the green belt. However, rapid urbanization and the urgent need for recreational spaces led to the destruction of the landscape. A reflection on lessons learned stress the need for engagement with local communities and real estate developers to integrate social needs and market forces into the planning process for effective green belt implementation. Recommendations include a combination of bottom-up and top-down approaches, with efforts centered around housing development that provides the needed infrastructure and public space and is fully integrated to the rest of the city. For cities in arid lands, it becomes critical to adopt soft-path approaches for water resources management, assessment of soil conditions, and reconditioning of poor or polluted soils. To maintain the ecological functions of the protected land, efforts must be accompanied by policies that support the vision for the green belt, means to regulate gentrification, and resources allocated for enforcement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2130
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • community engagement
  • green belt
  • green infrastructure
  • greenbelt
  • landscape design
  • soil reconditioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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