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How Medellín fixed its slums

I have written about Medellín, Colombia before on the blog. But the content has mostly come from my urbanist friends. About five years ago, my good friend Alex Feldman — who is a Managing Director at U3 Advisors — wrote this guest post about what other cities could learn from Medellín. He wrote it following a trip to the city for the World Urban Forum.

I haven’t been to Colombia, but it’s high up on my list. So I enjoyed watching the story of Medellín’s turnaround in this Future of Cities Retro Report. It is the same story that Alex told over five years ago, but that doesn’t make the lessons any less valuable. (If you can’t see the embedded video at the bottom of this post, click here.)

Eugenie Birch — who is interviewed in the video and who is a professor at my alma mater — hits the nail on the head when she says that a lot of this stuff isn’t rocket science. Look, we know how to lay pipes. We know how to build transportation systems. It comes down to this: Is there the political will?


  1. I have read your blog for years, I’m also from Medellin and have witnessed this turnaround
    from the most dangerous city in the world to the urbanist example it is today. Still it will take some decades to clear that bad rep from people’s minds and to tackle some more complex social issues like corruption or small scale crime that is generated when big-scale crime is eradicated, still, were on the right track.

    Liked by 1 person

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