We’re excited to announce the release of Sustainable Neighborhoods – Moravia, a collaborative and intersectoral project to develop a sustainable neighborhood plan for Medellín’s Moravia neighborhood, initiated and funded by the United Nations’ Environment Program.
Led by Ecocity Builders, the Planning Department of the Mayor’s Office of Medellin, the University of Antioquia – Research Group, GIEM, Route N: Cities for Life, Medellín’s Ministry of Environment, and the Metropolitan Area of the Aburra Valley, the plan follows a neighborhood approach that seeks to transform and integrate urban sustainability at the community level by improving environmental conditions, quality of life, and well-being of the community.
Building on the groundwork laid by Ecocity Builders and local partners in Medellín since 2014 through the Secondary Cities initiative, and based on a survey of Moravia’s historical and existing conditions, the expert team assessed the community’s needs throughout the past year along the 4 pillars (urban design, bio-geo-physical conditions, socio-cultural features, ecological imperatives) and 18 standards of the Ecocity Framework & Standards.
The proposals presented in the plan are the results of multi-sectional collaboration among experts and stakeholders, including government officials, community members and local organizations. Each of them is highlighted by their integrated approach in addressing multiple axes, attentiveness to ecosystem enhancement, and building local knowledge.
If implemented, we believe that these proposals would not only improve the environment of Moravia, but also create a more cohesive community of sustainable living and development. While Moravia has its unique conditions, the process and designs of the Moravia Plan carry the potential of adaptation in neighborhoods with identical infrastructure, geography and socio-economic structures.
The four implementations proposed in the Moravia Sustainable Neighborhood plan are as follows:
- The Habitat and Mobility Corridors proposal is a set of integrated interventions that aim to improve the quality of life of Moravia residents by implementing accessible, safe and universal mobility, increasing green spaces, promoting biodiversity and utilizing resource efficient technology for public lighting and irrigation systems.
- The Pluralism Point proposal calls for a community space that is open for cultural exchange, a meeting place for Moravia to celebrate the pluralism of the neighborhood, the historical transformation of the territory, and support visioning for the future.
- The Reconomy proposal aims to build on the existing community knowledge around recycling and waste issues to develop an improved waste collection program and promote a circular economy system in Moravia.
- The Architectural Transformation through Reciprocity proposal seeks to solve issues of informal, untitled, unsafe housing and to prepare residents for technical conversations around relocation and high-rise building design with the Municipality.
The United Nations Environment Cities Unit believes that by working at the neighborhood level, communities can transform their cities. Communities have the power to test innovative solutions in their neighborhoods to some of the most complex and pressing challenges: equity, cross-sectoral integration, governance and finance, so that they respond better to their specific needs.
We believe our Urbinsight neighborhood approach is in full alignment with this vision. We are thankful for the collaborative efforts throughout the project and look forward to seeing the integrative solutions presented in the plan move to the implementation phase.