La riqualificazione della città di Medellín e l’impiego della pianificazione urbanistica nella prevenzione della criminalità urbana

Rita Maria Barboni, Giulia Suzzi Valli


[The upgrading of Medellín and the use of urban planning in the prevention of urban crime] Until a few years ago, Medellín (Columbia) was sadly known as the world capital of narcotics and characterized by a murder rate and violent crimes really chilling. In 2013, to great surprise, it was awarded the title of ‘Innovative city of the year’, assigned by Citigroup, Wall Street Journal and Urban Land Institute. The city deserved such a definition, thanks to a complex upgrading work that, in the footsteps of the ever-present Chicago Area project model, has been able to combine the new planning of architectural interventions with others of a social character.  Particular attention has also been paid to the maintenance of urban furnishings and to the creation of amenable public recreational areas, such as squares or wide paved sidewalks, in order to increase the distance and create the so-called ‘natural control’ and the sense of ‘presence of a guardian’, according to the theories of Jacobs, Newman, Jeffery and all the current of New Urbanism.   As a result, recent statistical surveys, carried out after the upgrading program, have shown a real decline in violent crime. Improved also appear to the citizens’ sense of security, the level of quality of life and the contribution of economic resources from tourism, stimulated by the pleasures of some urban sites now safely walkable.    We are well aware that much remains to be done, nevertheless we considered useful to show a detailed analysis of the urban redevelopment interventions implemented and of the planning method, also in order to find out solutions and ways of intervention that could be usefully applied to the reality of some Italian cities.

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