DESIGN TODAY
by DESIGNTOPE

Urban Design in Mexico: Subway
Verónica Elizabeth García

2008/10/07
In Mexico most of people use bus as public transport, but what happens with big and populated places like Mexico City or Monterrey, where there are too many busy people wanting to move as fast as they could to their destinations? Only these two cities count with a subway system.




Mexico City subway operates since 1856 counting with 11 lines, 175 stations and a daily average of 4.2 million users. As this cosmopolitan city, “Metro” has been also developing in an important way along these years being helpful for the habitants.

But busy people not only need a fast transport, but also well designed and understandable instructions to not getting lost on their ways.
Sometimes there are a lot of useful public services but users do not realize of that because of design absence, it is not about cute drawings, but about being kind with the final client letting him have an easier transporting way.
Mexico City Subway is recognized between the best ones of the world, not only because it’s great functionality, also good signal and directional design had been excellent help for Mexican citizens and visitors.

As color is one of best alternatives to remember subway lines, Mexico City’s Metro is no the exception, another interesting point is that to identify each station there is a name and icon representing an historic aspect, place or special activity. For example, “Insurgentes” avenue is one of the most important in Mexico City, it’s station has as icon the bell that was used in the independence movement, this way people can quickly associate the name with the pictogram.

Many times we don’t realize how useful is good directional design in a place such as subway, because we walk directly without thinking “This signal has helped me to find my way”. This is normal for common people but for any kind of designers and architects should pay specially attention when we are around the street, where our daily lives develops day by day.