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Medellín: Colombia’s Sustainable Transport Capital

For many who have heard of Medellín, Colombia, the name brings to mind the drug-related violence of the 1980s and 1990s, when it was often described as the most dangerous city in the world.

Over the last decade, Medellín has worked hard to change its image. The local government is investing in education and social programs, and the city recognizes the importance of providing an integrated public transportation system as the backbone of these projects.

Medellín is becoming famous for innovative sustainable transport. Recent efforts to modernize public transit, create better public spaces and improve safety are helping transform the city. These projects include the development of bus rapid transit (called MetroPlús) and the creation of a bike-share program -- new transportation elements that are integrated with existing metro and cable car systems. In addition, the city is building 1.6 million square meters of new public space.

Medellín was awarded the 2012 Sustainable Transport Award. Streetfilms partnered with the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy to document some of the changes taking place in Medellín.

Elizabeth Press is a Filmmaker for Streetfilms. She joined Streetfilms in 2007 to focus her video work on advocating for better biking, walking and mass transit.

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  • Branda Miller

    Thank you Elizabeth Press for this excellent video!  Wonderful to see the dedication to innovative sustainable transport in Medellin!

  • Ben

    Awesome video, Elizabeth!  Great to see it in finalized form.  And great to see you down there at the SiClas event.  Looks like the trip was a huge success! - Ben from SF

  • http://ladyfleur.wordpress.com/ ladyfleur

    Makes me want to book a trip to Colombia!  Medellin has its act together by taking care of its people with smart, cutting edge transportation solutions. No wonder its citizens are proud.  

  • Davistrain

    The "cable cars" (sometimes called an "aerial tramway" or "teleferique") is quite eye-catching, but how many people can it move per hour?  (full disclosure: I have a touch of acrophobia, and whould have my doubts about using an aerial tram)

  • Colombia Eco Travel

    Thank you Street Films for this great piece! We have placed it on our blog! http://www.colombiaecotravel.com/blog/medellin-colombias-sustainable-transport-capital/.

    @b9079a2928b221307247ecba46d1ed0f:disqus We have personally ridden the MetroCable and it fits 6 people per car and there are a large number of cars. It's actually extremely efficient. Perhaps a trip to Medellin and a ride on the Metro Cable would help cure you from acrophobia :) Cheers!

  • Anonymous

    I don't know the exact numbers but it seems to be more of a feeder for the main metro line. When, you go from having little to no public transportation in your neighborhood due to topography to having a cable car, I think it is quite welcomed. (And, I don't love heights myself but for me it wasn't too stressful.) 

  • Eric McClure

    Great film, Elizabeth.  Medellin really seems to be focused on 21st century solutions for moving people around the city comfortably, efficiently and safely.

  • Zig

    street escalators would work well in downtown San Francisco and certainly would be cheaper than the central subway stub to chinatown

    could you imagine the indignation by our self appointed community leaders!

  • Nathanbotas

    Great video: one translation error I noticed:
    Spanish: "que tenga una definición clara en sus trazados, en sus inicios, y terminaciones"
    English: "that has a clear definition of its delays, starts, and stops" 

    Trazado is not delay but rather "route or course".  

    This is at about 2 minutes and 52 seconds. 

  • Mari_0214

    Love my Medellin! Let's keep moving forward con berraquera!

  • Leonardo andre uribe aiesi

    por que carajo se traba me molesta

  • Sospaisa

    Medellín: una ciudad que se construye pensando en el bienestar integral de sus ciudadanos.

  • http://twitter.com/herrerajuans Juan S. Herrera

    I´m happy to see how our city is becoming a model for other cities around the world. Hey people, believe me, here we are working so hard to transform our city and also our citizens. 
    If anybody wants to came, i can help you showing the city, im almost an architect :)
    http://blogs.elespectador.com/ciudadmadeinchina/

  • http://www.cma.com.pl/46/kontrola-paliwa kontrola paliwa

    Your post have only huge amount of information.We want clear information from your post.Thanks for your post.

  • Ambrose Santiago

     Over the last decade, Medellín has worked hard to change its image. The
    local government is investing in education and social programs, and the
    city recognizes the importance of providing an integrated public
    transportation system as the backbone of these projects. Medellín is
    becoming famous for innovative sustainable   improve safety
    are helping transform the city.To learn more http://www.medellintraveler.com