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Medellin: A City for Public Life

Freedom Tower @MDC

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Medellin: A City for Public Life, Lecture by Jorge Pérez Jaramillo (Universidad de Santo Tomás, Medellin, Colombia)

Seen as an urban failure, Medellin was once plagued by violence and terrorism, deep social fractures, economic crisis, and a breakdown of democracy and the rule of law. Yet today the city stands as an inspiring example of overcoming urban ills. Jorge Pérez Jaramillo, Medellin’s former director of urban planning, offers a critical analysis of Medellin’s profound urban changes from the 1980 crisis until today, detailing the collective processes that, through strategic planning, led to increased local democracy, equity, and human development.


Jorge PEREZ-JARAMILLO is the Dean of the Santo Tomás University’ Faculty of Architecture and the former Chief Planner of the city of Medellín (2012-15), and deputy chief planner of the Medellin Metropolitan Area (2004-2008). Thanks to his work, the city was recognized as the Most Innovative City 2012 WSJ Citi ULI, Special Mention Lee Kwan Yew Prize 2014 Singapore, 100 Resilient Cities Rockefeller Foundation, and other many awards for its innovative initiatives. In 2017, he was Visiting Fellow at the Cambridge University King´s College, in the UK.  He is currently writing a book on Medellín’s urban evolution.

Admission Information: Free

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