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Roberto Ponce López

Roberto Ponce Tec de Monterrey

Roberto Ponce López

Professor and collaborator of the Tecnológico de Monterrey’s Citizen Urbanism area

School of Social Sciences and Government

Campus Monterrey


  • Urban Transformation and Regional Development



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"The main challenge of my profession is to find the appropriate scale to study urban phenomena and obtain specialized databases."

The public policy of cities, the interaction between transport, land use, and poverty, in particular, is one of Roberto Ponce López areas of interest. Another one is urban information systems, that is, the use of artificial intelligence databases to design future scenarios in cities. 

Some of the projects led by Roberto Ponce are Mexicovid19, a website to track infection figures, the Urban Information System, the development in Monterrey city, which estimates the growth of the city's urban sprawl and the costs it implies for public finances, among others. Dr. Ponce is the leader in the Urban Development Plan in the Port of Veracruz, which consists of supporting the municipality to update urban planning instruments, and participates in the Fake News and Social Networks Detection project.

From his profession, he likes the interdisciplinarity offered by his area of research and by institutions such as Tecnológico de Monterrey. The problems in cities are complex and require the participation of experts from different fields. At Tecnológico de Monterrey, he collaborates with sociologists, architects, and engineers from other schools. 

During Felipe Calderón's election campaign, Ponce López was in charge of the spatial analysis area. Afterward, he worked for three years in the Office of Public Opinion, in charge of geostatistics and digital mapping. He claims that the new technologies and databases, such as the ones in cell phones and GPS trackers, are hard to obtain. However, for the first time in history, they allow exploring the interaction between the physical environment of the cities and social variables such as poverty or consumption with great temporary and spatial detail. 

From his point of view, one of the challenges in his profession is the fact that very little is understood about human behavior in cities, and, therefore, there are still many questions to be made.

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Teaching activities

  • Advanced Methods for Strategic Prospective and Future Studies
  • Advanced Strategic Prospective Models and Future Studies
  • Citizenship and Smart Cities
  • Emergent Issues in Public Policy
  • Emerging topics on strategic foresight
  • Integrative Project
  • Principles of Programming for the Social Sciences
  • Research Methods
  • Scenario Modeling
  • Technological Tools for the Social Sciences
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Education and Training

  • PhD in Urban Information Systems, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • MSc Political Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)
  • Bachelor’s Degree Political Science, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM)