Who is it for? A critical reflection on power in “social urbanism” and planning
All the good stuff- connectivity, mobility, participation and ownership and public spaces that the community needs (not necessarily open spaces), this post looks at Medellin and picks out elements that make it work. It also explores some questions around which we can better understand urban connections and issues.
I wrote this reflection for a course that looked at Medellin as a case study through which to examine the concept of “social urbanism.” It was the first more design-focused class that I have taken and it was new for me to be working with brilliant designers and architects who made up the bulk of the class. Challenging but also illuminating, as I hope this reflection demonstrates.
This course launched from the idea that “social urbanism,” or rather, design and architecture with a social conscience, is increasingly gaining in popularity in urban areas around the world. One very visible example of this is the city of Medellin, Colombia, where a transportation project of a metro and above ground cable-car system was set up to connect the city center to the marginalized informal areas that sprawl up the city’s steep hillsides. One such area is Comuna 8, one of Medellin’s 16…
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