Medellín: an upwardly mobile city

By on July 31, 2013
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By Jon Henley

Colombia’s second city used to be the world’s murder capital. Now it is a model of urban regeneration, complete with an innovative transport system – including a 385-metre escalator to and from the once-notorious neighbourhood of Comuna Trece

Once, Medellín was known for one thing only and one thing only: barely two decades ago, when cocaine king Pablo Escobar had a bounty on the heads of police officers and was doing his level best to bring Colombia’s second city to its knees, it was the murder capital of the world. In 1991, Medellín witnessed 6,349 killings, a murder rate of 380 per 100,000 people (for comparison, San Pedro Sula in Honduras, currently the world’s most deadly city outside a war zone, recorded a homicide rate of 169 per 100,000 in 2012).

But now Medellín’s murder rate has fallen by more than 80% since its peak and the city has become something of a global model for successful transformation. Earlier this year, it won an international award sponsored by The Wall Street Journal, Citibank and the Washington-based Urban Land Institute as the world’s most innovative city.

Key to the city’s progress have …read more

Source: Guardian Politics