The title 2013 innovative city of the year must be making you wondrous about what this article will be about. In 2012, the banking group and newspaper collaborated with the Urban Land Institute (ULI), a non-profit research and education organization, to choose the world’s most creative city based on factors such as economy, urban development, culture/liveability, technology, and research. Medell×­n has been named the world’s Most Innovative City by the Wall Street Journal Magazine and Citibank.

Medell×­n, Voted as City of the Year

Medell×­n, called The City of Eternal Springs by Colombians, was chosen for its progress, promise, rich culture, and outstanding gains in urban development, despite a history of bloodshed fuelled by drug lord Pablo Escobar and the Medell×­n Cartel. On March 1, 2013, the Wall Street Journal and Citi announced that Medell×­n, Colombia, had won the city of the Year competition, a global program designed in collaboration with the Urban Land Institute to celebrate the most creative urban communities. During the episode, the public cast over 980,000 online votes. The Urban Land Institute created a list of 200 cities for the PR program which debuted in June 2012. The cities were chosen based on eight criteria:

  • The Environment and Land Use
  • Liveability & Culture
  • Economic/Investment Climate Progress
  • Potential Power Positions
  • Technology & Research Education & Human Capital
  • Infrastructure and Mobility

The Reason it has been Chosen as the 2013 Innovative City of the Year

According to the Urban Land Institute, Medell×­n has experienced one of the most extraordinary urban transformations in recent history.

It commended its civic spaces, libraries, and art galleries, as well as its infrastructure, which includes a massive escalator and a cable car that allow residents of Medell×­n’s disadvantaged neighbourhoods on the steep hillside to easily get to the city centre in the valley. Anibal Gaviria, the mayor of Medell×­n, said the honour was a reason for delight on the side of every one of our city’s 2.5 million inhabitants. He also congratulated former mayor Sergio Fajardo for initiating several of the projects recognised in the competition.

Also Read: Transforming Detroit into a Smarter City

Medell×­n urban planning

Medell×­n has shown how imaginative approaches to planning can improve urban living, from the metro cable system to upgraded educational facilities and transit lines. Medell×­n is still reinventing itself now.

  • The Aquatic Centre was built with public pleasure, competitions, and education in mind. A flooded landscape planted with tropical wetland plants separates private and public spaces. The study was meticulously planned to investigate the connections between people, programs, and places.
  • Orquideorama is a garden and public place that was created using scale, organization, and pattern. The proposal, which allows for development and flexibility through seven hexagonal modules, gives space for a variety of activities between structural supports and clustered gardens.
  • Ruta N was conceived as a sustainable enterprise and innovation hub that connects to adjacent public areas. The project, which anchors the development of Medell×­n’s innovation zone, was designed in three forms joined by a central patio and garden.
  • The Avenida Oriental project was developed in stages to improve connectivity and physical conditions along existing street dividers. Mountain of Flowers occupies the middle divider conceptually, a structure in which organic shapes and vibrant colours merge to depict a field of flowers.
  • Mazzanti’s four-sport arena design revolves around a parallel strip roofing structure. The strips that run across each building connect competitive areas with public space while reflecting the mountain landscape of the Aburrס valley.
  • This auditorium concept for La Enseanza School was inspired by its location, balancing varying ground levels while respecting the surrounding nature. The design integrates with its surroundings by creating visual linkages with outside vegetation using a tree trunk structural structure and huge openings that orient to outside views.
  • The Spain Library Park was plotted and wrapped around rocks and a shared platform to generate a landscape that relates to the urban topography. The design incorporates training areas, classrooms, and a library.

Frank Teng is a current MBA in Sustainable Management student at Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco and is on the board of Sustainable Silicon Valley. He works with Jones Lang LaSalle, a global real estate services firm, to manage global energy and sustainability programs for corporate clients in the technology and financial services sectors. Please note: Frank's views are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of his employer.

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