April 08 2014

World Urban Forum 7: Medellin, Colombia at the Heart of Urban Debates

Twenty years after being considered the the most violent city in the world, Medellin is no longer recognized as the most dangerous city, but the most innovative, the most resilient, and an example in planning projects that generate equality.

This transformation is the reason Medellin became the host city of the Seventh World Urban Forum, one of the most important of its kind dealing with city issues. Led by UN-Habitat, the Municipality of Medellín and the Colombian Ministry of Housing, the event will be held in the week of April 5th to 11th.

Alpujarra administrative center- Medellin, Colombia

In 2012, during the sixth World Urban Forum in Naples, Medellín was announced to have won the seat of the 7th version of the event. One of the main reasons quoted was the amazing development and transformation experienced by Medellin and Colombia in the last two decades: from the violence of Pablo Escobar, to being a poster city for architecture, urban planning and innovation worldwide.

Among the personalities and experts that will attend the forum are the Nobel Laureate in Economics, Joseph Stiglitz, and urban planners Brent Toderian and Richard Florida. Also, Medellin will receive the President of Ghana, the Vice President of Lesotho, the Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, ministers from over sixty countries on all continents, and mayors from Latin America, Europe and Asia.

Plaza Mayor convention center- Air purifier, Medellin, Colombia

Innovative air purifier at the Plaza Mayor Convention Center in Medellín

The social role of civil infrastructure made Medellín a living laboratory not only for urban development processes, but also an exploration of the mechanisms that promote equity. This has attracted other cities interested in knowing how they did it, so that they can bring the model to their cities.

The forum promises to be a debate with high standards and innovative conclusions. But being set in a city like Medellin, the forum will be especially conscious of social issues and will promote a new understanding for urban equity in the 21st century.

How is your city being challenged to be more equitable? Can international events such as the World Urban Forum really influence public policy and change our cities for good?

Credits: Images by Luis Lozano-Paredes. Data linked to sources.

Luis Lozano-Paredes

Luis Lozano-Paredes is currently a student seeking a Diploma of Architecture and Urban Planning at Belgrano University in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Born in Colombia in 1987, he grew between the cities of Bogotá and Santiago de Cali, and then moved to Argentina in 2006. There, he finished the Common Basic Cycle of Architecture, Design, and Urbanism at the University of Buenos Aires before pursuing studies in Landscape Design at the same Institution. Inspired by the Urban Transformation of Bogotá in the past decades, his interests evolved from Landscape Architecture to his current passion; Urban Planning, Policy Making, and Sustainable Development. He plans to continue his studies in Urban Planning and Sustainability in Canada, Chile, or the U.S.; but for the moment he currently works as a Graduate Research Assistant at the Center of Metropolitan Transport Studies of the University of Buenos Aires and is a Member of the Observatory of Urban Sustainability at Belgrano University. Luis’ main interests lay within the study of Smart Cities, Urban Sustainable Development, and Social Architecture in Latin America.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 at 9:46 am and is filed under Architecture, Community/Economic Development, Energy, Engineering, Environment, Environmental Design, Government/Politics, Housing, Infrastructure, Land Use, Landscape Architecture, Luis Lozano-Paredes, Social/Demographics, Transportation, Urban Development/Real Estate, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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