Our proposal for an alternative intervention in the urban periphery of Medellín developed in partnership with Universidad Nacional de Colombia in last year’s Medellín workshop has been awarded first prize in one of their cateogries by Red CYTED- (des) Bordes Urbanos, an academic research network that promotes the creation of sustainable urban spaces in the peripheral areas of Latin America through the application of design and policy. (Read about the announcement, in Spanish, here and here.)
From left to right: Clara Irazábal (Columbia University, NY), Catalina Ortiz Arciniegas (National University of Colombia, Medellin), Carmen Mendoza (Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona), Marcela Tovar-Estrepo (Columbia University, NY) and Natalia Villiamizar-Duarte (National University of Colombia, Bogotá)

The Rethinking the Urban Fringes in Medellín workshop was coordinated by Catalina Ortiz of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia and joined students from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Columbia University New York, and our masters students from the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, with the objective of proposing models for alternative intervention in the urban fringe involving community actors as crucial planning partners.

The proposal addressed the implementation of current planning projects in Medellin, Colombia, specifically the Green Metropolitan Belt proposal, where neighborhoods located along the informal settlements of Medellín’s growing periphery claim their right to be recognized and involved in the city’s planning processes. Our group worked closely with the neighborhood of Comuna 8.
“This allowed for a collaborative semester-long project that was expanded thanks to the cooperation of different student groups and which enabled us to establish Comuna 8 as an urban planning intervention lab and think tank,” explains Catalina Ortiz. The proposal is an alternative to that of the municipal government’s, incorporating the priorities of the community.

“We developed specific strategies in response to one of the most prevalent questions faced by informal areas of Latin American countries; how to manage urban growth.”

Catalina Ortiz and our codirector Carmen Mendoza were invited to talk about the proposal and the surrounding debate on a popular Colombian evening talk show last May.

Congrats to all involved!

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