Medellín has turned itself into a model Latin American city, with good transport, dynamic public spaces, new schools and a culture of civic architecture. The real design project, however, was one of social organisation, with a section of society grouping together and deciding to rewrite their city's story. — Guardian
Justin McGuirk analyzes the "social urbanism" of Medellín's "self-consciously iconic" architecture. Efforts by politicians such as Sergio Fajardo and architects like Giancarlo Mazzanti to focus on public space and civic architecture, were he finds part of a larger program of "social architecture" which saw all members of society focusing on ensuring that "future development outcomes are as equitable, sustainable and pro-poor as possible".
For more on these developments in Columbia make sure to visit the exhibition Colombia: Transformed/Architecture=Politics at The Instituto Cervantes of Chicago (put on in collaboration with MAS Studio). The exhibit features ten recently built social projects by five leading voices in contemporary Colombian architecture. The projects all "demonstrate ideas of social inclusion as well as innovative architectural forms and spaces, which have been steadily transforming Colombian cities and the nation".