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Thursday, June 2, 2011

From World's Drug Capital to Green Oasis: The Incredible Story of Medellin, Colombia (Slideshow)

by Paula Alvarado, Buenos Aires
Medellin Urban Planning Transformation Slideshow Photo
Photo: Medellin Public Works Office.

Medellin, Colombia: This city's name used to strike fear in peoples' hearts. In the 80s and early 90s, it was known as the drug capital of the world and the most violent city on the planet.

But Medellin has come a tremendous distance in less than a decade, thanks to a massive urban planning scheme, head up by the Movimiento Cívico Independiente since 2004.

Its main focus? The greening and improvement of public space to encourage community building.
Main points of the plan include every green urbanite's dream: improvement of diminished neighborhoods, library-parks, new schools and kindergartens, social housing, pedestrianization and greening of streets, new public transport and better security.

Here are 12 of our favorite new architectural endeavors in this city.
Drug Capital Of The World Turns Into Queen Of Architecture And Green Public Space: Medellin's Transformation Slideshow