Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Why Can't the United States Learn from the Miracle of Medellin?

A recent article in Foreign Policy reviews the transformation of Medellin, Colombia--home to drug-lord Pablo Escobar--from being a fortress of violence to a prosperous tourist destination through innovative government action.

Given that urban planning and social programs drove Medellin's success, the authors argue "Think government can't deliver smart, intelligent urban design that changes lives? Travel to Medellín, and it's hard to remember why it is that Americans have given up trying."

The article acknowledges that social programming costs a lot of money. They go on to explain that Medellín's "uniquely civic-minded business elite" made spending possible by accepting tax increases.

Medellín still has far to go, but Americans can learn a lot from its measured success.

To read the entire article click here.

1 comment:

  1. Recently a report written by two guys on the Joint Chiefs of Staff (aka Mr. Y) regarding cutting military spending and increasing social programs was published and has received a lot of attention. NPR asked their listeners if they thought the citizens in the US were will to adopt this strategy and got mixed responses, but mostly leaning to the idea that most of the US is too uneducated and doesn't care about politics to vote in such a way that would allow that type of policy to take shape. What do you think the best way to achieve more social programs, including urban planning, will be? Can we hope that Obama, if reelected, will be able to influence enough of congress to cut military spending instead of medicare, social security, and education?