During the last two decades, Medellin has managed to shift its fate from being the most violent city of the planet, to be one of the most innovative cities according to The Wall Street Journal (2013) and 2ThinkNow (2017). The reason behind this change is related to the implementation of several social and economic policies targeting the most vulnerable population, where the urban planning and the social inclusion strategies have played a very important role to succeed. Medellin's social inclusive infrastructure is visible all around the city, and it has been developed using urban acupuncture projects as anchor points to promote people integration. Through these projects it is possible to identify at least three types of social infrastructure development. First, public spaces as places for joy and cultural expression where the citizens can interact with each other thanks to a special urban design dedicated to public amusement. Second, adaptive public transportation that responds to the urban particularities of each sector —tram lines for traditional neighborhoods, metro lines close to the main highways and aerial tramways for low-income settlements in the mountains—. Last, education and cultural facilities using environmental and/or representative concepts with high quality architecture that has improved the city image at international level. This approach has also created a renewed sense of belonging among its citizens apart from the idea to propose new paradigms of Latin American territorial identity.
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Botanical Garden, Medellin - Photo: Author
Parque de Los Deseos, Medellin - Photo: Author
Parque Explora, Medellin - Photo: Author
Aerial Tramway, Medellin - Photo: Author