Latin America & Caribbean » Colombia » Medellin

Medellin en la cuerda floja
  Pedro B. Ortiz Medellin Metropolitan Urban strategic metro matrix transport plan
  Medellin has a very dramatic location. Enclosed in a north/south narrow valley the urban structure is clearly linear and has developed into a conurbation that extends to the consecutive valley municipalities and climbs high to the valley steep slopes beyond any rational pattern into a metastatic slum structure. Medellin has nevertheless adopted adequate urban policies and innovative approaches due to its very specific location and topography. Those solutions as TOD’s at the end of public cable cars lines are reference all over the world. Innovation continues in Medellin and collective intelligence (Governance social resources) is able to detect and implement outstanding proposals. Such as, four years ago, with the 3 Valley proposal included in this same webpage, introduced in the POT (Plan de Ordenación Territorial-Master Plan)

Surrounded by high mountains the metropolis takes place in three valleys. The Medellin one at 1.500 altitude, the Rio Negro, 20 km away, at 2.100 and the Santa Fe, 70 km, 550 high. Four years ago we proposed Medellin should look larger and expand beyond its enclosed valley. We proposed the 3Valleys Metropolitan project linking these valleys with a strong mass transport infrastructure: A commuter train. The municipality realized straight away the validity of the proposal and has incorporated it to the POT.

This time the requirement was to look larger. To try to solve the extremely difficult supra-metropolitan topography and providing solutions to the single valley collapsed backbone of the river thoroughfare. The standard engineering ring road proposal failed, as the parallel sierra linearities would not allow. The bypass to the Northwest (Urabá port and the Atlantic/Pacific link) was quite clear along the Cauca Valley. The Northwest Passage from Cali, parallel to the Medellin Valley, was a difficult solution. It requires First world infrastructures. Highways with tunnels and viaducts as Latin America is not used, though long implemented in Europe and the USA. It is time for Medellin to leap ahead and enter the developed world showing the way to the continent.

The link between La Pintada and Hatillo across the Rio Negro Valley plays the role of the string in the bow, in the Crossbow. The metropolitan bow is Medellin. The arrow is the Commuter train between Rio Negro and Santa Fe thorough the metropolitan enter. A bicephalous, or tricephalous, arrow pointed to the high demand markets of the USA, Europe and soon China.

But any bow needs a bowstring. It doesn’t work without it. The bowstring is the Rio Negro Metropolitan Corridor between La Pintada and Hatillo. Economic developments, logistic and industrial, airport related as the Airport city would, will be promoted and fostered. Medellin will take a leap ahead into the next century, headfirst, in the finishing line.
Escalar Medellin
  Medellin Colombia Urban Metropolitan Matrix Reticular Planning
  Medellin is the second largest metropolis of Colombia and the main historical industrial city. Medellin is in a narrow valley, which has conditioned and limited capacity for expansion. The metropolitan growth of Medellin has taken place in the steep hills, providing inadequate conditions for the expanding, uncontrolled housing metastasis.
Medellin has to coordinate its territorial scales. It has to zoom out from the urban focus to the metropolitan one. This means producing an integrative policy beyond the Valley of Aburra into the neighboring valleys of Santa Fe and San Jeronimo, as well as Rio Negro. All such planning must take place in view of a Regional Antioquia strategy within the National Colombian context.
The integration of the different scales of Medellin will allow it to expand the metropolitan structure beyond the current congestive framework and to unleash all the social and economic potential of Medellin’s entrepreneurial capacities.
El territorio de la economia: Medellin
  Medellin Territorio de la Economia
  Medellin must address growth needs beyond the Aburra Valley. It's the territory of the economy of Medellin that has to take a Metropolitan scale. The Aburra valley is not enough. The unsustainable metastasis growth of the slums climbing up the ridges of the Valley claims for that need.

The report, as an initiative of the legitimate concern of the Chamber of Commerce of Medellin, provides for a strategic vision of how the southern Valley of Rionegro and the northern one of Santa Fe and San Jeronimo should be integrated in a Metropolitan structure linked by mass public transport as a commuter train. It will reinforce the economic potential of Medellin as well as Antioquia and the valleys benefited.