Welcome to Medellin

This month, Medellín will host the World Urban Forum. The publication Next City chronicles the city's transformation in an animated video called "Welcome to Medellin" and an accompanying essay. Here are a couple of excerpts about Medellin from the Next City essay:

The significance of Medellín’s transformation cannot be overstated. Through bold moves in architecture, planning and urban design, it has gone from lost cause to becoming, in 2012, “Innovative City of the Year” as declared by a joint Citi/Urban Land Institute/Wall Street Journal contest. Last year, architect Alejandro Echeverri, director general of the Urban Development Company from 2004 to 2005, accepted the Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design from the Harvard Graduate School of Design for the Northeast Urban Integration Project, the centerpiece of which was the gondola.

Suddenly, Medellín has become a best-practices case study for mayors and policymakers worldwide. At 2.4 million residents, it is slightly smaller than Chicago, and with a metro area of only 3.5 million, about the size of greater Seattle. Founded in 1616 by Spanish conquistadores, it’s nestled in an Andean river valley at 5,000 feet above sea level, with a pleasant climate that has earned it the nickname City of Eternal Spring. A colonial mining city, it became provincial capital in the early 19th century after Colombia’s independence, and remained a center of gold and coffee exportation.

You can read the whole essay on the Next City website here: http://bit.ly/1pwmJ2v

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