- May 1, 2013: Vol. 25, Number 5

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An infamous South American city rehabilitates its reputation

by Mike Consol


There was a time when Medellín, Colombia, seemed a city beyond redemption, forever associated with the notorious cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar and the brutal drug cartel that took the city’s name as its own.

But the city is quickly moving beyond its Medellín Drug Cartel past, and even setting the tempo for municipal living at its Latin American best after being named Innovative City of the Year, edging out New York City and Tel Aviv to take the prize.

The competition, organized by the Urban Land Institute (ULI), Wall Street Journal and Citigroup, was won in part by Medellín’s urban development projects. A written statement from ULI says the city built public libraries, parks and schools in poor hillside neighborhoods and constructed a series of transportation links from there to its commercial and ind

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