The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


DPU contributes to discussions on Medellin's Strategic Spatial Plan

26 August 2014

Medellin, Colombia

From August 21st to October 8th the work of community organizations, NGOs and universities in Medellin, Colombia on development alternatives for District 8 - Comuna 8 - will be presented in "Comuna 8, a varias manos / Comuna 8, by several hands". The exhibition was formally launched at an event on August 21st - see the poster below.

The exhibition is an outcome of some of the processes initiated by DPU staff and students in a series of activities in Medellin over the previous 12 months. During this time we have engaged in a series of collaborative transnational workshops and studios, in association with the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNAL), School of Urban and Regional Planning. The fruits of this collaboration are now contributing towards discussions on Medellin’s Strategic Spatial Plan.

Our contributions have been led by staff of the MSc Building and Urban Design in Development. The Contested Urbanism Studio I, which took place in March-April 2014, was coordinated by Caroline Newton in association with the UNAL. The DPUsummerLab 2013 was coordinated by Camillo Boano and undertaken with Prof. Catalina Ortiz Arciniegas along with the District 8 – Comuna 8 – community organization in August of last year.

These processes have involved participants working closely in Comuna 8 to understand the local aspirations, the community structures and the challenges of densification and infrastructure development within present environmental limitations.

The result has been the development of community design strategies for action planning and growth management. These have been developed at different scales in order to tackle the contested and multiple visions of development with the goal of visualising and developing an “alternative voice” to the Medellin’s Strategic Spatial Plan, which is not seen as representing the aspirations of many residents.

We have an established engagement with institutions and urbanization processes taking place in Medellin through a series of research and teaching activities in recent years. The DPUsummerLab 2014 is currently underway in the city until the end of August. Read about this year’s workshop on the summerLab pages.