Medellín, the world capital of innovation in 2013

Medellín was named “World Capital Innovation” in 2013 by the Wall Street Journal and the Urban Life Institute. Consecration to the Colombian city.

The most dynamic city in Colombia

The consecration of World Capital Innovation award the most dynamic city of Colombia . The crime rate has largely fallen under the influence of many projects that have made the city a financial hub, industrial and commercial. The environment was also a priority. The new public transport system in the city has reduced 175,000 tons per year of CO2 emissions.

“Few cities have transformed the way that Medellín, Colombia’s second largest city, has in the past 20 years,” the Urban Land Institute wrote in a statement online. “Medellín’s homicide rate has plunged, nearly 80% from 1991 to 2010. The city built public libraries, parks, and schools in poor hillside neighborhoods and constructed a series of transportation links from there to its commercial and industrial centers.

The links include a metro cable car system and escalators up steep hills, reducing commutation times, spurring private investment, and promoting social equity as well as environmental sustainability. In 2012, the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy recognized Medellín’s efforts with the Sustainable Transportation Award.”

Innovative public transportation system

Over the last decade, Medellín has worked hard to change its image. The local government is investing in education and social programs, and the city recognizes the importance of providing an integrated public transportation system as the backbone of these projects.

Medellín is becoming famous for innovative sustainable transport. Recent efforts to modernize public transit, create better public spaces and improve safety are helping transform the city. These projects include the development of bus rapid transit (called MetroPlús) and the creation of a bike-share program — new transportation elements that are integrated with existing metro and cable car systems. In addition, the city is building 1.6 million square meters of new public space.

Medellín: Innovative but Unequal

The press reported also that a representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights had declared the city one of the most unequal in the world because of the murders, disappearances, unemployment, and the war between criminal gangs and their control of some neighborhoods.

The big contrast in these two reports has generated various reactions on social networks. Some see the “City of the Year” award as a relief to mitigate the stigma of inequality, violence, and drug trafficking. However, although “congratulations Medellín” and “innovative Medellín” became trends on Twitter, users also used social media to draw attention to problems in the city. According to some netizens, many of the challenges that Medellín faces where hidden behind the media’s coverage of the award.

More than 200 candidate cities

The game was not a foregone conclusion that Medellín was in competition with more than 200 cities around the world. And opponents were not amateurs including the cities of New York and Tel Aviv . The Colombian city has established itself thanks to the many policies it has undertaken in recent years, particularly in terms of transport with the introduction of a funicular connecting the neighborhoods to the metro system.

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About olivierlehe

Passion for Innovations

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