Daniel Madariaga doesn’t believe in impossibilities. After graduating from the EGADE School of Business at Monterrey Technological University, Daniel Madariaga quickly went to battle against Mexico City’s array of transportation woes.
Through creative solutions and innovative practices, Daniel Madariaga has helped change Mexico’s landscape. He’s garnered attention as a leading MaaS (Mobility as a Service) expert, all but reinventing how transportation looks in Mexico City where millions of residents utilize automobiles each day.
MaaS (Mobility as a Service)
The United Nations reports that 40% of the world’s population will live in medium or large-sized cities. Mexico City alone has over 9 million residents, and as people continue to flock through the gates of more urban sprawls, changes to daily transportation patterns must be made.
Daniel Madariaga specializes in mobility, and has specifically taken to looking at how MaaS can be implemented across Mexico City.
The goal of MaaS is to form a viable link between four main aspects of everyday life: technology, mobility, sustainability, and citizens. It strives to answer the question: How can transportation be more effective and efficient?
For congested areas like Mexico City, this is incredibly important. The city’s transportation issues have contributed to severe rises in CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions and, subsequently, a decline in air quality (from an already subpar level of clean air).
No more obvious was this problem than in May 2019 when the Mexican government was forced to declare a state of emergency for Mexico City. Smoke from nearby wildfires merged with the city’s abundance of smog and jeopardized air quality.
Luckily, the benefits of MaaS practices prove extremely promising:
1. Better transportation options.
2. Minimization of personal transportation costs.
3. Less time spent in traffic.
4. Sustainable alternatives to personal car usage.
So what does MaaS look like in action?
Currently, Mexico City runs an environmental program known as Hoy No Circula. The thinking behind this is simple – reduce use of vehicles and release of emissions. In decreasing release of emissions, government officials hope to minimize pollution and drastically improve the city’s air quality.
The program works like this: Vehicles undergo emissions testing and are then “tagged” with a specific sticker. This designation determines any restrictions for driving. When not allowed to drive, residents are encouraged to seek other modes of transportation.
Daniel Madariaga wholly supports programs like these and strives for more. The problem in Mexico City isn’t just a saturation of vehicles; it’s that drivers often have a hard time getting off the roads and into a parking spot. Space is limited, forcing many citizens to burn fuel (and, as a result, release more emissions into the air) as they meander about the city looking for parking.
Madariaga’s solution? Automated parking.
How It Works
Believe it or not, the concept isn’t entirely new. Automated parking structures have been implemented in similarly congested areas of Japan and China. Currently, Mexico City houses one – a 13,600 square meter complex that can store up to 700 cars at one time.
The benefits of such a facility are huge. For one, an automated parking facility utilizes robotic mechanisms to park cars, which proves expeditious and much more effective.
When it comes to parking garages? Lots of congestion, honking, yelling, etc. And don’t forget the person driving in the wrong direction!
Luckily, automated parking garages eliminate all of that. If you’ve never seen one before, think of it like a giant conveyor belt storage unit. Got that image ingrained in your brain? Good.
Because everything in an automated parking garage is controlled remotely, the garage takes up less space. Gone is the need for parking spaces big enough for people to step out of their cars, stairs/elevators, regulated ceiling heights, and driving lanes.
Cars are taken off the streets quicker and stored safely in an economically-friendly space devoid of human intervention. Gradually, CO2 emissions decrease because people are spending less time looking for parking. Hence, Mexico’s pollution issues improve.
Beyond the Spot
The benefits of these structures extend far beyond parking optimization.
Big cities often suffer from urban heat island, a phenomenon where a metropolitan area is significantly warmer than surrounding rural areas because of the excess of human activity. However, since automated parking facilities are space savers, cities that incorporate them can free up space. For what?
Trees, trees, and more trees.
With a higher concentration of trees and other plant life, the unsavory effects of urban heat island can be fought.
The parking facilities themselves also serve as functioning rainwater collectors. This is a viable solution to the struggles that many large cities have with maintaining enough water to send to homes. The rainwater flows into drainage systems built into the parking garages and is then filtered straight into the subsoil below.
Madariaga suggests that the process has the ability to eliminate between 65% of sediment, metals, and other pollutants from the water!
Moving Forward: The Smart City
Over time, the goal of mobility as a service is to create what leaders in technology and innovation are calling the “smart city.” What is it? Essentially, a city that incorporates technology in a way that improves the quality of urban resources (energy, transportation, public services, etc.) while eliminating waste and toxic environmental practices.
Another moniker? Sustainable optimization. Smart garages fit the bill because they optimize parking while also promoting sustainability.
Says Daniel Madariaga, “The main objective of an intelligent city is to improve the quality of life for its citizens through intelligent technology.” And while some countries like the United States, United Kingdom, France, Spain, and Canada have already taken to sustainable mobility efforts, Mexico has positioned itself as the leader in green awareness across Latin America.
With the country’s history of poor air quality and environmental challenges, Daniel Madariaga hopes to rewrite the narrative via automated parking and other green-based projects. In addition to mobility, he’s heavily involved in sustainable construction, and hopes that when paired with his transportation initiatives, Mexico City will be well on its way to evolving into a fully-functioning smart city.
Making the Impossible Possible
While Daniel Madariaga stays humble and attributes his successes to collaborating with dozens upon dozens of other like-minded entrepreneurs and global leaders, there’s no denying his singular drive and ambition that’s helped leave such an impact on Mexico as a whole.
The stats surrounding Mexico City’s air pollution troubles are grim. The numbers documenting the city’s consistent struggles with growth and overpopulation are alarming. Still, Madariaga doesn’t let that affect his resolve and commitment to finding innovative solutions to Mexico’s problems. He also cites the need for a united front when it comes to combatting the unwelcomed effects of global warming and other environmental malice, as well as improving living conditions across the city and country.
We live in a world affected by our actions and a world whose future depends on the actions of those living today. For Mexico, Daniel Madariaga and his collaborators are taking the actions necessary to eliminate persistent problems and preserve life well into the future. They remain steady on a mission to improve the living conditions of Mexico’s citizens and treat the world as it deserves: a healthy, vibrant mix of people, plants, and animals.
Read more about what Daniel Madariaga is doing for Mexico City on his website - http://www.danielmadariagabarrilado.mx/