In 2012, Citi and the Marketing Services Department of WSJ. Magazine teamed up with the Urban Land Institute (ULI) to determine which city— wherever in the world— deserved the title “Innovative City of the Year.” For the first round, ULI produced a list of 200 contenders, we then asked readers of WSJ. Magazine and others to vote on the city that deserved the title. The original list of 200 was reduced to 25. We then asked readers and others to vote again and the list was narrowed to three finalists.
Events were held in each of the finalist cities where we encouraged civic leaders and business executives to use social media to spread the word. Our Number One city was so proud of their accomplishments that response was overwhelming.
Originally distinguished for its progress and potential, the winning city found new solutions to classic problems of mobility and environmental sustainability. Today, gondolas and a giant escalator shuttle citizens from steep mountainside homes to jobs and schools in the valley below. As a result, travel time for the majority of its citizens has been cut from more than 2 hours to just a few minutes. In this city, a modern underground metro system has eased pollution and crowding in the city’s main arteries above, and glistening new museums, cultural centers, libraries and schools enrich the community.
Connections create innovation, and it is no wonder that our winning City of the Year has achieved great success in bringing its residents together to assure opportunities for all. That city is the traditional cultural capital of Colombia: