Saturday, March 2, 2013

Colombia: Medellín Named Winner of Innovative City of the Year Competition

According to EFE, Medellín, once labeled in the 1980s as the world’s most violent large city, compliments of the carnage unleashed by the late drug lord Pablo Escobar, was designated on Friday (March 1) winner of the Innovative City of the Year competition, beating out even New York City and Tel Aviv.

The organizers of the competition, Citigroup, the marketing services department of The Wall Street Journal and the Urban Land Institute, said Medellín was chosen for its modern transit system, environmental policies and its network of museum, schools, libraries and cultural centers that “enrich the community.”

“Congratulations, Medellin, the most innovative city,” President Juan Manuel Santos said on Twitter. “Innovation is more employment and investment.”

COMMENT: Medellín’s mayor, Anibal Gaviria, called the award “a reason for joy on the part of every one of the 2.5 million inhabitants of our city.” He went on to acknowledge the work begun in 2000 by then-Mayor Sergio Fajardo, credited as the initiator of the city's transformation.