Colombia's Medellin named 'most innovative city'

A city worker cleans a statue by Colombian artist Fernando Botero in Medellin Medellin was praised for its civic spaces and rich culture in the competition sponsored by the Wall Street Journal newspaper and banking group Citi.

Related Stories

Medellin, in Colombia, has been named the world's most innovative city in a competition organised by the non-profit Urban Land Institute.

Medellin, once known for being the stronghold of the Medellin drugs cartel, beat Tel Aviv and New York.

The institute said Medellin had excelled in increasing the mobility of citizens living in poor communities.

The city has an efficient metro and cable car system, which allows people to access the city centre easily.

The Urban Land Institute compiled a list of 200 cities based on eight criteria ranging from culture and liveability to education and infrastructure.

People were then asked to vote online for their top candidates.

'Reason for joy'

The Urban Land Institute said Medellin had seen one of the most remarkable urban turnarounds in modern history.

It praised its civic spaces, libraries, and art galleries, as well as its infrastructure which includes a giant escalator and a cable car allowing the residents of the poor neighbourhoods on Medellin's steep hillside to easily commute to the city centre, in the valley.

Medellin's mayor Anibal Gaviria said the award was "a reason for joy on the part of every one of the 2.5 million inhabitants of our city."

He also commended former mayor Sergio Fajardo for launching many of the projects which were praised in the competition.

However, Medellin has not been able to cast off its violent past entirely.

In December, the bodies of nine people were found at a luxury home on the outskirts of the city.

Police believe they fell victim to a settling of scores within a powerful Medellin-based criminal gang, many of whose members had originally worked for the Medellin drugs cartel.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Latin America & Caribbean stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • French luxury Tea House, Mariage Freres display of tea pots Tea for tu

    France falls back in love with tea - but don't expect a British cuppa


  • Woman in swimming pool Green stuff

    The element that makes a familiar smell when mixed with urine


  • Female model's bottom in leopard skin trousers as she walks up the catwalkBum deal

    Why budget buttock ops can be bad for your health


  • The OfficeIn pictures

    Fifty landmark shows from 50 years of BBC Two


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ITChild's play

    It's never been easier for small businesses to get their message out to the world

Programmes

  • An aerial shot shows the Olympic Stadium, which is closed for repair works on its roof, in Rio de Janeiro March 28, 2014.Extra Time Watch

    Will Rio be ready in time to host the Olympics in 2016? The IOC president gives his verdict

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.