micro Urbanismo | Íñigo García Odiaga

Often when we think about urbanism, we visualize big real-estate operations of transformation of the city. The European cities seem to move to the pace that marks the construction of new neighborhoods, of new developments that in occasions have managed to duplicate the existing city. This urban methodology, besides slightly advisable, is demonstrated totally uselessly when it is a question of rehabilitating, to transforming big degraded areas, since the economic volume necessary to be able to act annuls already of take-off any possible action. How is it possible at the time to approach the urban regeneration of a favela, or of the whole periphery of a city as Medellin?

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The Colombian city of Medellin was leading until a few years ago the ranking of the most violent cities of Latin America, and his image was associating to an urban chaotic periphery, without presence of the condition, with big indexes of insecurity and without any social cohesion.

This urban methodology, besides slightly advisable, is demonstrated totally uselessly when it is a question of rehabilitating, to transforming big degraded areas, since the economic volume necessary to be able to act annuls already of take-off any possible action. How is it possible at the time to approach the urban regeneration of a favela, or of the whole periphery of a city as Medellin?

The Colombian city of Medellin was leading until a few years ago the ranking of the most violent cities of Latin America, and his image was associating to an urban chaotic periphery, without presence of the condition, with big indexes of insecurity and without any social cohesion.

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In the year 2004 there was founded the EDU, company of urban municipal development, which would be the manager of a new model of city considers and to develop. His response was not made wait and one of his first interventions was the construction of the so called metrocable, a teleférico that does the times of an urban meter overflying the roofs of the steep north periphery of the city. The stations were incorporating in addition small public spaces and small community, such equipments as day-care centers, gymnasia, a library or a museum.

This intervention tied to the public transport and that little has to see with the property development of big neighborhoods, transformed radically quite this area of the city. Somehow this project that was acting as an urban acupuncture of small interventions, was capable of transforming a residual place in urban.

By means of these interventions mike the city is reinvented, the condition, the town hall and the services appear suddenly in forgotten neighborhoods, giving service and generating a will of social change and a new attitude in the neighborhood. This model of urbanism characterized by the punctual interventions capable of transforming urban environments already is today a case of study in multiple schools and Medellin is known as the Model.

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In Medellin, topics like the integration, the mobility, the governance, or the reduction of the poverty and the violence have treated each other from the urban thing and not from the bureaucratic thing, the police thing or the judicial thing.

The Model Medellin, as well as it it was the effect Guggenheim for Bilbao, it has been capable of transforming by means of the use of the architecture a scene of crisis, in a space of opportunity, turning neighborhoods before degraded in attractive spaces even for the tourism, which has supposed the arrival of investments and of new economies.

Maybe, the particularity of this system takes root in the way in which a small building has been capable of extending a new model in the whole neighborhood.

These architectures, they have carried a physical investment that has complemented itself with social programs and with integral policies of safety and conviviality that look for an integral transformation of the city. Hereby these beacons are a constant modal for the citizens in almost forgotten territories that more underprivileged persons of the company need a great labor of support to.

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Architectonically the buildings consist of a recognizable element in the distance, a tower that evokes the protection and turns into modal of the neighborhood, briefly a milestone that emphasizes the nearest point of civil safety, standing out as a brand in the landscape.

These equipments that offer service 24 hours a day, behave as nice spaces opened the public, abundances of color and life, offering as showy claims towards the citizen. In the night they return in modals urban of light, thanks to a few reflectors that illuminate the sky determining the location of the nearest building and propitiating an illuminated area and of safety.

9 buildings, for his strategic location in the territory of the city, are relating in the hillsides of Medellin across the light, and therefore they introduce in the cartography of the city neighborhoods to which before the city had never come. Therefore beyond his value as architectures, we can qualify to these buildings of links between the citizens and his belonging to the community and it is there where it takes root in his urban value.

The results are there and are those who support this urbanism constructed with small pieces of architecture, with small interventions of mike surgery, with small changes that generate big transformations. Already some time ago that Medellin I stop leading the doubtful list of the most violent cities of Latin America, and his tourism and cultural interest have multiplied in the last years.

íñigo garcía odiaga. architect
san sebastián. juny 2012

Article is publicadoshed in 2012.06.03 _ ZAZPIKA

Íñigo García Odiaga

Arquitecto. Editor de NOMU. 1/5 del estudio de arquitectura VAUMM. Vivo en Donosti.

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