Stuck in between two congested roadways, the newly created inner city beach in downtown Mexico City is a man-made tourist destination and the first of four to be developed. Complete with sand, palm trees, beach volleyball, and plenty of bikini-clad visitors, the site is drawing tremendous criticism regarding the spending priorities of the city’s mayor.

The project, built on a sports field and surrounding by traffic and high rise housing projects, has been highly criticized by many. Costing the city hundreds of thousands of dollars, critics claim the city should focus on water, crime, education, and many other “urgent” uses.

Mayor Marcelo Ebrard resists the criticism. During recent speeches, he has promoted the faux beach as free and for the public. And, if the beach becomes popular, he plans to build three more.

In an effort to encourage residents to stay in Mexico City rather than travel afar for fun in the sun, the capital is taking a big financial risk with money that, in most opinions, should be used for more important needs.


While the project is a risk in the eyes of many, we see the launch as an opportunity to create hope for a very poor city. Opened just in time for a major holiday, city officials created a destination for its residents, potentially expanding its tourism industry. It will be interesting to watch as this story unfolds. If city officials play their marketing cards correctly, worries about funding education, reducing crime, and improving water could become a distant memory. — Jenna Gruhala

Mexico City, April 3, 2007. (Daniel Aguilar/Reuters) Photo, caption courtesy of Yahoo! News