The developed urbanism of Mexico, linked in the centuries of Spanish colonization to the impulse of mining activities, has been determined, in recent times, by the demographic pressure in the countryside and by the parallel process of industrialization. In the second half of the twentieth century. most cities have experienced sharp increases; exceptional, however, was that of Mexico City, which with its 19 million residents (the urban agglomeration) alone hosts almost a fifth of the Mexican population and appears to be the most populous center on the continent, followed by São Paulo, New York, Los Angeles and Buenos Aires. Built on the ruins of ancient Tenochtitlán, the Mexican capital has the typical Spanish colonial structure with a square plan, as it was intended by Cortés. The center is the square of the Constitution, the Zócalo, which is found in the other cities that arose in colonial times, also enriched with noble buildings, churches and palaces that rise in a central position. Mexico City, as the capital, welcomes all the services of the state: cultural, financial, religious center; it is also an industrial center and has created a vast conurbation around it, which now goes beyond the boundaries of the Federal District. But the driving force of the capital extends to the entire Central Plateau, rich in large urban centers.
In fact, Puebla falls within the orbit of the capital (or Heroica Puebla de Zaragoza), administrative center, market of products of its fertile territory, seat of mechanical, food, textile and ceramics industries, as well as, above all, city of art; Toluca (or Toluca de Lerdo), one of the highest cities in the country, at 2640 m asl, Cuernavaca, Pachuca and the more distant Querétaro and Morelia. Guadalajara, on the other hand, has a decisive autonomy vis-à-vis Mexico City, the second largest city in the country by number of residents, located in the basin of the Río Grande de Santiago. Of colonial origin, it soon became a very active center, Guadalajara is located in a fertile agricultural region, also favored by the great riches of the subsoil; has developed a conspicuous industrial apparatus, in which the textile, mechanical, ceramics and leather sectors prevail. Other important cities in the plateau North of Mexico City are León, Aguascalientes and San Luis Potosí, populous commercial or mining centers, with industries. San Luis Potosí is one of the largest railway centers in the country, in direct connection with the North, where Monterrey stands out, a city of mining origin and which, together with its neighboring centers, has become the second largest industrial center in Mexico, home in particular to a strong steel industry made economically lively by its proximity to the United States.
On the railway line that connects San Luis Potosí to Ciudad Juárez, on the US border, there are two other important cities, Torréon and Chihuahua. Ciudad Juárez, as well as more in West Mexicali and Tijuana in Baja California, in E Nuevo Laredo, are nuclei whose development is determined above all by being located on the border, beyond which there are important cities (San Diego, El Paso, Laredo, etc.), so that every day a considerable part of the population of the Mexican centers goes to work in the twin cities of the United States. Mazatlán is the most important of the inland ports on the Pacific coast, while Acapulco (Acapulco de Juárez) is above all known as a seaside and tourist resort. On the east coast, the largest port is Veracruz, directly connected to the Central Plateau and Mexico City, with a vast agricultural area; Tampico is also an important coastal outlet and oil center, further north the urban development of the South is rather limited and the population density of these regions does not exceed 50 residents / km². According to itypetravel, one of the main towns is Oaxaca de Juárez, historical and cultural hub in the Río Verde valley, while in the Yucatán is the populous Mérida, a beautiful and ancient city (it was founded on the site of an important Mayan site) with a flourishing activity of planting, species of agaves, but also one of the the most popular tourist places in Mexico as a starting point for visiting the vestiges of the Mayan civilization; moreover, in recent years, a fair network of industries has been developing near the city, also favored by the abundance of oil extracted in the Yucatán.