Medellín has a lot going for it, doesn’t it? We know the people are said to be the friendliest in the country, but there’s so much more to the City of Eternal Spring than that.
The changes Medellín has gone through in such a short time are unbelievable, and its sketchy past make the changes even more impressive and exciting.
I’m not going to tell you about what was going on in the 80s and early 90s and how bad it was, because we already know. And if we don’t know, we can visit any site about Medellín to find out. But we’ve probably heard enough about that anyway, I know I have. What we haven’t heard enough about is what is happening in Medellín now.
From art to infrastructure and fashion to nightlife, Medellin is moving forward and at such a fast pace that people are struggling to keep up.
But they’re taking notice – Medellín has even been recognised as one of the top 25 most innovative cities in the world. Ok Medellín, you’ve got our attention. So, what’s going on in Medellín and why is it such an innovative, loveable and exciting city?
Medellín has the best transportation in the country. There, I said it. They don’t just transport people, they connect people, truly. And I’m not just talking about connecting people from one side of the city to the other. Transportation in Medellín bridges the gap between the haves and the have-nots, it connects people from different barrios and gives those who live high in the mountains the opportunity to travel into the centre of town quickly and safely. The transport is diverse, there’s the Metro, Metrocable, the bus system called the MetroPlus, a 28-story high escalator which allows residents to safely travel down a steep hillside and even bike-share programs. They haven’t just got the public transport right either, they have invested in more than 1.6 million square metres of new public space too. It’s all about connection – this is truly a city under transformation.
As well as transportation, there is a new emphasis on education in Medellín. The city’s utilities company Empresas Publicas de Medellín (EPM) are supporting a whole bunch of community developments with a backing of education at the forefront of it all. There’s also been the construction of the España Library which is part of a series of urban projects. It’s built in Santo Domingo, one of the barrios that was most affected by the violence in the 80s.
Each year Medellín puts it’s textile and fashion industry on show and hosts South America’s largest fashion industry event called ColombiaModa. And I don’t mean to name drop but the likes of Vogue and Prada are just some of the brands that attend. Last year saw more than 9,000 buyers, retailers, designers and other industry folk strut through their doors.
There is no shortage of festivals in Medellín. Of course there’s the Flower Festival but there’s also the Medellín Food Festival, the Poetry Festival, The Festival of Christmas Lights and the Medellín Film Festival. No matter what time of year you’re in Medellín, there’s bound to be a festival, a party or an event going on.