Community driven reforms to reduce violence in Medellín

​Medellín, a city ruled by crime, drug trafficking and domestic war for 20 years has undergone a radical transformation. The Government has launched strategic reforms, including the community at all stages of the process. Among other things, the reforms aim to increase access to public transportation, construct multi-purpose public spaces, and assist small businesses – objectives that resonate well with the public. Mayor Fajardo also created a reform strategy known as ‘Social Urbanism’, through which Medellín began to work on a network of public library parks, improved transportation and infrastructure and better housing in informal settlements. The guiding principle of the urban makeover was: ‘the best projects for the poorest, most violent areas’. Reform has proven largely successful, as Medellín has seen a large reduction in violence and was recently named City of the Year by the Urban Land Institute and The Wall Street Journal.