Medellín has been the site of tremendous urban planning and architectural innovation over the past ten years. Though known for much of the late 20th century as the center of violent international drug regimes, Colombia's second-largest city has transformed into a vibrant city through strategic reforms including increased access to public transportation, construction of multi-purpose public spaces and facilities, and meaningful assistance to small businesses.
The government has guided and supported much of this reform, but the plans also deliberately include community involvement at all stages of the process. Reform has proven largely successful, as Medellín has seen a large reduction in violence and was recently named City of the Year by the Urban Land Institute and The Wall Street Journal. While these accomplishments certainly mark progress, it is crucial those in power remember the residents of the communities they are working to reform going forward.
THE TRANSFORMATION OF MEDELLÍN