The seventh world urban forum in Medellin: lessons for city transformation
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The city of Medellin in Columbia has transformed from the most violent city in the world 20 years ago to one of the most progressive. In this remarkable turnaround in the city's fortunes, city institutions linked up with other spheres of government to pursue a bold vision of 'social urbanism', at the heart of which was a consistent commitment to social inclusion and equality. Medellin's innovative urbanism went beyond a physical makeover to include economic development driven by a series of catalytic projects to redevelop former industrial sites and run-down buildings for a range of new uses. The ingredients of this transformation included a shared sense of purpose and ambition, mature political leadership, long-term commitment and substantial devolution of powers and responsibilities to the city authorities.