Whether it’s correcting the misspelling of their country’s name through social media,or revitalizing a city with a dark past, it seem that when Colombians come together there’s little they can’t do

Medellin Named ‘Innovative City Of The Year’ In WSJ And Citi Global Competition

Whether it’s correcting the misspelling of their country’s name through social media,or revitalizing a city with a dark past, it seem that when Colombians come together there’s little they can’t do.

And the world is starting to notice. On Friday, Citi and the Marketing Services Department of the Wall Street Journalcrowned Medellín, Colombia the “Innovative City of the Year,”beating out fellow finalists New York City and Tel Aviv.

In 2012, the banking group and newspaper partnered with the Urban Land Institute (ULI), a non-profit research and education organization, to choose the world’s most innovative city based on its economy, urban development, culture/livability, technology and research, among other measures.(Check Out A Video Of The Process)

Known by Colombians as ‘The City of the Eternal Spring,’ Medellín was chosen for its progress, potential, “rich culture and impressive strides in urban development” in spite of a past of violence fueled by drug lord Pablo Escobar and the Medellín Cartel.

“Few cities have transformed the way that Medellín, Colombia’s second largest city, has in the past 20 years,” the Urban Land Institute wrote in a statement online. “Medellín’s homicide rate has plunged, nearly 80% from 1991 to 2010. The city built public libraries, parks, and schools in poor hillside neighborhoods and constructed a series of transportation links from there to its commercial and industrial centers.
The links include a metro cable car system and escalators up steep hills, reducing commutation times, spurring private investment, and promoting social equity as well as environmental sustainability. In 2012, the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy recognized Medellín’s efforts with the Sustainable Transportation Award.”

ULI selected 200 cities in June 2012 based on the above criteria, and after two rounds of voting, three finalists were announced in October. The Colombian city wasannounced as the winner on March 1 with almost one million votes,and will be featured in the April issue of the WSJ magazine.
Source: Huffington Post

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Medellin named most innovative city of 2012

Medellin named most innovative city of 2012
Colombia’s second city Medellin has beaten Tel Aviv and New York Friday, to be named City of the Year, in a competition sponsored by the Wall Street Journal and Citigroup.

By analyzing 200 of the most innovative cities in the world, Citi, WSJ and Urban Land Institute narrowed the field down to 25 in 2012, and then asked the public to vote the top three.

Events were held in the three cities to drum up enthusiasm for the competition, and Medellin saw off stiff competition from New York and Tel Aviv to become City of the Year on March 1. Organizers described the response from Medellin as “overwhelming.”

Medellin “originally distinguished for its progress and potential,” was commended for initiatives to increase mobility and environmental sustainability. Medellin boasts of an efficient metro and gondola system, which have opened up the city and allow people to access the center easily from homes high up on the steep valley sides.

Urban Land Institute said the “most innovative cities spark visions, remove barriers and cultivate collaboration to improve the quality of life for residents,” which is why Medellin was singled out as City of the Year.

Long known as a city run by drug lords, Medellin has transformed that reputation over the last two decades, reducing its murder rate nearly 80% between 1991 and 2010. The city has built libraries, schools and community centers in disadvantaged neighbourhoods where local government, businesses, community and education organizations are working together to stamp out violence and intimidation.

Public-private partnerships finance projects including Parque Explorer, Medellin’s interactive science museum. Engineering firms have even designed public buildings for free. Medellin has also successfully implemented participatory budgeting, which allows citizens to take part in making decisions on public spending.

While still a city healing the scars of a violent history, Medellin has used leadership and initiative to move towards becoming a hub of innovation, investment and entrepreneurism.

Sources:

City of the Year (WSJ online)
ColombiaReports.com

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