Last fall, a group of students and professors from the University of Miami School of Architecture had the opportunity to visit Medellín, a Columbian city now famous for implementing a series of smart urban solutions in the past decade. Canin Associates is thrilled to have been able to help make this trip possible, along with support from the University of Miami Citizens Board.
Medellín as a city has garnered a lot of attention in the past few year, from being named Innovative City of the Year in 2013 to hosting the United Nations World Urban Forum in 2014. Not only have city leaders and citizens actively reduced the cartel-induced crime that plagued the city for decades (the name “Murder Capital of the World” may come to mind), they also dedicated themselves to fostering social urbanism, a form of people-focused urban development. Today, outdoor escalators and a streetcar-like gondola line connect the city’s hilly outskirts to the center of town. A state-of-the-art library is paired with a new park to create the Parque Biblioteca España, one of the city’s architectural icons. These projects are mirrored by many more smaller scale initiatives with a focus on community building.
In Medellín, young designers from the University of Miami studied the city’s architecture and saw first-hand the importance of innovative urban interventions. The students turned their experiences abroad into 11 proposals. Their visions focused on the future of the up-and-coming area around the Cemetery of San Lorenzo. Students presented their final concepts for “Studio Medellín” last December, and Professor Carmen Guerrero will create a report collecting these designs and the lessons learned on the group’s trip.