Last Thursday and Friday, Colombia’s second largest city of Medellín opened up to 1.600 international diplomats, dignitaries, media, and other guests for the first ever “Medellin And Its Allies” convention held in the city’s Plaza Mayor Convention Center.
The event, organized by Mayor Daniel Quintero and the municipal investment promotion agency ACI Medellin hosted ambassadors from several countries, including The Dominican Republic, Haiti, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Spain, Denmark, Israel and Sweden, and mayors from throughout the Americas, including Peru, Ecuador, and Mexico.
Biosafety protocols were carefully enforced throughout the event.
Visitors were shown many of Medellín’s recent successes, along with ambitious plans such as the new 80th Avenue light rail project, various initiatives from city agencies, and the Mayor’s controversial plan to close the city’s municipal airport, replacing it with an expansion of the international airport in nearby Rionegro, and a new airport to the north of the city.
Friday, dignitaries were taken on a walking tour through downtown Medellín, then rode the “Tranvia” light rail to the neighborhood of Buenos Aires, where they took the “Metrocable” cable car public transport system to a box lunch and neighborhood performance. The tour was designed to highlight the city’s decades-long efforts at social inclusion, and technological ambitions to create what Quintero calls the Software Valley.
“Now more than ever, we realize that many cities want to know our model and replicate it in their regions to advance in the way that Medellín has done. So this event makes it clear to us that Medellín is a model to the world and that people want to know what we are doing well and that allows us to position ourselves as an innovative territory in the world,” said ACI Medellín’s executive director, Eleonora Betancur.
“The image that the world has of Medellín is of a city that has taken an impressive step. I do not know another city that has changed so much in such a short time and it is a very tangible reality in all the streets and people,” said Hungary’s consul to Colombia, András Beck.