Site Visits

For its sustained efforts in tackling its socio-economic challenges, the city of Medellín was named the 2016 Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Laureate. At the 10th WCS Mayors Forum, participants will be brought on site visits to Commune 10 and 13 to witness the successful transformation of a notoriously violent city into one that is upheld as a model for urban innovation within a span of just two decades.

How did Medellín do it? By investing in a multi-modal public transport and creating public spaces. Public spaces have the ability to build and nurture relationships based on empathy through communication. It is where the seed of trust is planted, at the local level.

Commune 10

Also known as the Downtown of Medellín, Commune 10 is one of the most important sectors of the city with 1.2 million people passing through daily. The integral plan of the Downtown area prioritises human mobility, and the creation of public spaces encourages social interaction and promotes environmental sustainability.

Photo credit: Alcaldía de Medellin

Commune 13

The iconic escalators lining Commune 13's hillside are arguably one of the most famous escalators in the world – and rightfully so. By connecting the hillside neighbourhood to the city below, these escalators not only improved connectivity - they also built confidence and trust between the residents and the government. Once labelled the most dangerous commune in Medellín, inclusive and collaborative governance has transformed the commune, and galvanised the community. Public spaces have been created through purposeful urban planning. The public art and installations now brighten up the once dangerous Commune, and provide a way for the residents to be connected to the past and give hope for the future.

Photo credit: Alcaldía de Medellin
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