Following is a link to a short article on Medellin ( thank you Renee 😉 )-simply to get your minds spinning a little…
In addition, I am placing the link of a video that I took on the city’s metro. It is amazing how the video, which simply shows the view out of a metro-car window, clearly refelcts the the transitions and differences between the different Comunas ( or Sectors) and the city’s urban fabric. The city’s metro system borders the River Medellin (which runs through the middle of the valley), paralleling the older railroad lines. The journey moves from North to South.
In the North, we see a very dense urban fabric consisting of small houses- mostly made out of bricks and concrete-these are older informal settlements ( the more recent ones are further East and West, up in the the hills, and these are made with more precarious building material, such as scraps of wood, tin, plastic bags, etc). This is a very horizontal fabric (the tallest structures go up to 4 stories high).
As we move South, we pass by some of the public housing (although most of the pubic housing, or “housing with a social interest” as it is called here in Colombia, are located further away from the city center, West of the city center- this area is called Aurora and Pajarito) , followed by the North Park, the Parque Explora and the Botanical Garden, which begin to announce our arrival to the city center.
The center is made up of high and medium size structures maintaining a high density with a much more vertical landscape. Notice that the informal settlements that once bordered the river, quickly get pushed out to the peripheries of the valley and up and in the mountain.
We finally approach the Southern Comunas (el Poblado) of the city consisting of high rises and a more spread out landscape… the structures in the mountain are no longer the small informal houses but tall slender ( sometimes too slender) residential buildings.