Jhony Alexánder Díaz Castañeda

Articles by Jhony Alexánder Díaz Castañeda

Community media and the fight against gentrification in Medellin, Colombia

Translated by Gil Aguilar, with thanks to Nati Garcia

The city of Medellin, Colombia was built through grassroots community processes without the participation of and in conflict with the central state, which wanted to stop urban expansion. The working-class residents of the new city built schools, churches, roads, and sewage systems according to the people’s needs, not the plans of the government. But recently, as city planners transition Medellin from being one of the most violent cities in the world to becoming a model city based on a service economy, real estate development is being driven by the state, against the interests of the people. These processes of “urban renewal” are gentrification, taking the working-class territories along the Medellin River for new housing. After at least 50 years of abandonment the state is approaching these impoverished communities with the aim of generating capital in a place built by the people. As the state and development corporations expel the poor from the territories that they built collectively, their planning communications and information styles also exclude the poor. (…)

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