The Urban Land Institute (ULI), an institution that leads the environmental sustainability and responsible land use, chose on March 1, the city of Medellin, capital of the Antioquia Department in Colombia, as the most innovative city in the world, in a contest organized in conjunction with Citigroup and WSJ Magazine.
The mass transit, quality of education, efficiency, trust in the public companies and the rescue of the public space, are some of the parameters that granted Medellin, which has an average of 3 500 000 inhabitants, that title.
Federico Restrepo, Manager of the “Vias de la Prosperidad” of Antioquia, said that when the Mayor of Medellin began in 2004 the rescue of the city, one of their referents was the work that had been performed in Guayaquil, until that moment with the recovery of various emblematic sites of the city, like the hills of El Carmen, Santa Ana and the neighborhood of Las Peñas.
“In 2004 we met with the Mayor of Guayaquil, (Jaime) Nebot, because the progress of Guayaquil in the recovery of public space, drew our attention”, says Restrepo, who adds that counseling was reflected in the dignity of the public space that Medellin brought to the city.
Another similarity between the two cities is the transportation, because traveling in the Metroplus in Medellín, BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) system, is very familiar for a citizen of Guayaquil, as the transport type is similar to the system of Metrovias operating in that city, despite the fact that the application of the Metroplus took as an example the Transmilenio from the capital, Bogota, explains Ricardo Serna, social and commercial Manager of the Metro of Medellín.
They expect in the short term, to build a linear park along the Medellin River, so the authorities will visit Guayaquil once more to learn from the experiences in that area.