David Yu/Flickr

Una luce sulle città

NEW YORK – Lo scorso mese si è tenuto un importante meeting a Medellín, in Colombia. 22.000 persone si sono date appuntamento per partecipare al World Urban Forum e discutere sul futuro delle città. Il focus era creare “città per la vita”, ossia, promuovere uno sviluppo equo negli ambienti urbani in cui già vive la maggioranza dei cittadini del mondo, e in cui risiederanno due terzi della popolazione mondiale entro l’anno 2050.

Il luogo stesso scelto per il forum era simbolico: un tempo famoso per i trafficanti di droga, Medellín ora vanta una buona reputazione come una delle città più innovative al mondo. La storia della trasformazione di questa città può essere di insegnamento per le aree urbane di altre parti del mondo.

Negli anni 80 e 90, i boss del cartello come il famigerato Pablo Escobar controllavano le strade di Medellín e la sua politica. La fonte del potere di Escobar non era solo il commercio internazionale di cocaina altamente redditizio (e alimentato dalla domanda negli Stati Uniti), ma anche dall’estrema disuguaglianza di Medellín e della Colombia. Nelle Ande, sui ripidi pendii della valle che culla la città, vaste baraccopoli, praticamente abbandonate dal governo, fornivano una pronta offerta di reclute per i cartelli. In assenza di servizi pubblici, Escobar conquistava il cuore e la mente dei più poveri di Medellín con la sua generosità – anche se terrorizzava la città.

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