Fall 2008 Course Description

Policy Research Project

Section Title: Transportation Planning in Mexico
Instructor(s): Leigh Boske
Course: P A 682A - Policy Research Project
Unique Number: 64705
Day & Time: Tuesdays, 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Room: SRH 3.102
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Notes: Lisa Loftus-Otway

This course fulfills requirements for the following specialization(s):

Description: Mexico has recently launched an aggressive program to improve its transportation infrastructure. These improvements, which impact all modes of transportation and all regions of the country, are necessary in order to make the Mexican economy more competitive in international trade, not only with the United States but also with Asian, European and Latin American trading partners. Given that the improvements made in the Mexican transport network are expected to have a strong impact on trade and transportation flows within Texas, the Texas Department of Transportation has funded this policy research project in order to evaluate the infrastructure program and, through a series of case studies learn how Mexico plans and implements major infrastructure projects, in theory and in practice.

Mexico’s investment in infrastructure fell from 7% to 3% of GDP between 1988 and 2006. The Calderon Administration’s National Infrastructure Program aims to change the direction of this trend by increase investment by 50%. President Calderon has set a “Mexico 2030” goal to be ranked in the top 25 in World Economic Forum Infrastructure Competitiveness Index (Mexico currently ranks 64th out of 125 countries) and to be ranked 1st in Latin America by 2012 (currently 7th).
In addition to analyzing the Calderon Plan and conducting comprehensive case studies of how transportation projects are executed in Mexico, the PRP will assess the current extent of Texas-Mexico coordination in transportation planning.

The expectation is that the research project will (i) develop strategies to improve cross-border coordination, (ii) develop a database of critical contacts, (iii) provide a step-by-step sketch of how projects are developed and implemented in Mexico, (iv) assess any discontinuities between Mexican and Texas transportation plans and (v) recommend public policy changes. This course will be useful to students who are interested in the following areas: US-Mexico relations; International Law; Multimodal Transportation; Public Private Partnerships; and Land Use and Urban Planning.

A fluency in Spanish is welcome but not required.

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