Colombia's second largest city, Medellín, is constantly changing. Once known for its high crime rate and drug trafficking, it has taken on visionary developments in recent years, increasingly changing its sinister connotations. In 2012, for example, it was named the world's most innovative city by the international Wall Street Journal newspaper. Also known as the "City of Eternal Spring," Medellin is increasingly becoming a model for many other Latin American cities.
The participation of the citizens has a great influence on the ongoing changes. From January 12, 2021, until the end of the month, they will be able to vote on an online platform for projects in the areas of health, education, social welfare, justice, economic revitalization and food support. Funds amounting to the equivalent of 55 million euros will be made available for this purpose. By means of direct elections, 16 municipalities and five city districts can participate - approximately one hundred thousand votes are expected. The special feature of the election is that people as young as 14 can participate. Voting is based on values of participation, democracy, inclusion and transparency. The goal is basically to include especially the physically impaired, the LGBTQ+ community, ethnic minorities and women, i.e. historically excluded voter groups. Overall, the goal is to strengthen the social fabric and improve the quality of life.
What the residents will decide and which project will be implemented will be revealed by the end of January 2021.
For more information, please visit the website of the city of Medellín (text in Spanish).