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The Miraculous Transformation of Medells: A Mid-Telled Story

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Medellín is recognized worldwide as an example of innovation and transformation, but it is only part of the city’s story. Many townships are built on the steep hills of Medellín.All photos: Courtesy of Contra Miradas

Comuna 13 invites tourists and visitors to every corner with music and dance, the walls are covered with street art, and the miracle bario of Medellns, a brightly painted escalator, transforms violence into public pride. It’s full of stories.

The region fits the broader myth of Medells’ transformative urban policy (along with its myriad of tours, books and merchandise): as the center of innovative urban policy, international as a smart city, global innovator and eco-city. It has been declared by various media outlets.

And there is no doubt that Medelln has replaced the thriving tourism, co-working spaces, digital nomads and vegan sushi from the global murder capital, with its crime and murder rates drastically reduced.

But a glance at the steep slopes above the city center tells a lot about the suburbs of the city. It’s a nasty story that doesn’t fit the neat story of the post-Narco city that local governments are always working hard on. To say.

Medellín metrocable runs through Docomnas

Is Comuna 13 a rule? Or an exception? To understand how people live in the city, we need to look deeper than popular tourist attractions and government promotions and listen more to the inhabitants. Deliver new voices and new stories from around the city from the heart of Medellín to Parque de la Srusses and the EPM Library.

Many areas still lack infrastructure and even drinking water

The terracotta-covered slopes overlook the skyscrapers and government offices of Medellun. However, the perimeter is far from the center in many respects. Infrastructure, service, and security gaps continue to impact many Vario residents.

Many of these neighborhoods were unplanned. Over 100 Medells Barrios are still considered to be informal settlements built by arriving in many refugee communities from the Colombian Civil War. Housing and infrastructure were built by community building groups, funded by religious and criminal organizations, without state intervention.

As violence intensifies in both rural and urban areas, as well as from Venezuela, these regions continue to see arrivals from all over the country.

Public services often had to be hijacked or pirated, and later companies arrived to formalize (and profit from) their usage. The governmental structure of the community remains influential, but little by little, some areas have become formalized, services have arrived, and even the presence of government.

However, many continue to lack resources and state presence in completely informal infrastructure. The presence of the states to which these varios are exposed is the ESMAD riot police, often trying to expel residents from informal settlements known as invasions even during pandemics.

Mobility Issues and Medells Metro Fetish

The mayor of Sergiofajardo (now expected of the president in 2022) and his social urbanist policies have made great strides in mobility, including the township 13 escalator. This has saved residents significant commuting time, including commuting from Santo Domingo, which was once considered one of the city’s most dangerous areas.

One of the most eye-catching elements of the ContraMiradas exhibition is the shoes placed in the display case, the story of the yellow shoes of patiamarillos. You have to walk on a long dirt road with the name given to the inhabitants of Balius because of dirt on their shoes. Go to the bus stop or cable car station.

People often change their shoes when they get to the subway, and making Guardaza Pathos to take care of dirty shoes was a good business. Suburbs.

Undoubtedly, connecting to the center via the metro station makes life, commuting and job search much easier for Barrios residents on the steep slopes of the city. Also included with the Medellns Metro and Metrocable was the pride of Colombia’s first metro system. Its incredibly clean, efficient and staffed, many stations double as museum space, libraries and music venues.

However, there is a risk that the metro will become somewhat worshiped for Paisa (the people of Antioch). The strong pride and public interest in the achievements of this one city blinds the enormous amount left for citizens and governments.

Mobility alone cannot solve people’s problems. Many regions have a strong history of strong community organizations and collaborative action, but they need state presence and resources to address security, infrastructure, and social issues.

The ghosts of gentrification are also blocking the arrival of subway stations, and some lifelong residents are priced by their neighborhood.

Simon Palacio, an anthropologist investigating the life and infrastructure of Medellnsbarrios for Contra Miradas, says infrastructure development cannot be just another impetus for mobility.

Urban intervention policies must be integrated and holistic, and the ability to develop tools and actions must take into account the perspectives of individuals and community organizations operating in the neighborhood. They have a direct understanding of the problem.

The flashy solution will be a white elephant

Innovation with flashy solutions and technology is not needed by many in the suburbs of Medelln. They demand sharpened, detailed, focused, and lasting attention.

The Biblioteca Espaa is an looming symbol, one of Colombia’s great white elephants. It is a huge public space built next to the Santo Domingo subway station. Its vast structure, visible in half of the valley, was welcomed as a masterpiece of modernism and an innovative approach to public space, and is now abandoned on the hillside and covered with black cloth. The project has spent years involved in various proceedings in an attempt to take responsibility for its structural failure and grand claims of future refurbishment.

Power supply is one of many challenges in Medellun.

As always here, community solutions are being implemented, but the fact that the state is responsible for ensuring that residents enjoy dignified living conditions and basic rights such as water. It doesn’t change, says Oberlader.

Leidy Joana Patio arrived from the countryside of Antioch, escaped paramilitary violence against his family and found a haven in Barrio Granizal. But like any other inhabitant, she has to collect drinking water from tanks scattered around the neighborhood. Anything that arrives at the pipe causes health problems for the children, who then have to travel long distances on dirt roads to reach medical services.

The water is so dirty that it turns yellow. I use it to do the laundry, but when I first got here, it boiled my daughter, she told me.

Clean water, medical services, law Many of these issues are facilitated by the perception that people are there and not go anywhere, the formalization of land ownership.

Road to recognition – water is a human right

A long legal process has finally given us the right to clean the water that was granted in 2019 in Granisal (technically part of Belo, part of the urban complex of the Medells Valley). This will not only be a state obligation, but the occupation of the land will facilitate access to basic services.

“These services are not gifts, but a state that guarantees constitutional rights. Jaime Agdero, the lawyer who led the proceedings against the municipality and its civil servants, said it was no longer in” my favor. ” He said it was not because of his appreciation for what the officials were doing, but because of his understanding of the rights. Provider, EPM. This round was an appeal after the former won the first proceeding because of logistical support impossibility.

The city is slowly getting out of the coronavirus recession. With soaring poverty rates and rising unmet basic needs, the surrounding areas of the city have survived the worst economic storms.

Colombia is stroking her back for accepting Afghan refugees, so it may be time to approach her home. According to the Colombian ombudsman, there was a mass evacuation of 102 people in Colombia earlier this year, involving 45,000 casualties. City governments may want to take a more realistic approach to their refugees, or at least listen to their opinions.

The ContraMiradas exhibition will be held at Medellín’s EPM Library until the end of October 2021.

Emily Hart is an independent journalist based in Colombia. She started a weekly news digest. Colombia’s Top News Articles – Curated, Digested and Delivered Directly to Your Mobile Phone Every Monday as 5 Minutes of Voice and Text – Register Here For $ 2 Per Per Month!

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