Alejandro Echeverri

Former Director of Urban Projects
Medellín, Colombia
Focus Area(s): 
Getting the News Out/Managing Expectations
Critical Tasks: 
Building citizen support
Making services accessible
Interviewers: 
Matthew Devlin
Country of Reform: 
Colombia
Town/City: 
Medellín
Country: 
Colombia
Date of Interview: 
Monday, October 26, 2009
Abstract 
Alejandro Echeverri, former director of urban projects under Mayor Sergio Fajardo, talks about the strategic urban development projects that transformed the city of Medellín, Colombia. He discusses the urban development strategy he followed, which focused on putting the largest public investments in the poorest and most violent parts of the city. Echeverri explains the process through which the government worked with community leaders and created forums through which the community could weigh in on urban development projects, with the aim of giving them ownership of the process. He describes how public communication and a focus on local workers were key in building community support. He discusses some specific projects that were undertaken and explains how the needs for renewal were prioritized. Finally he touches on how the urban renewal programs helped bring tourism to Medellín and how working with private sector partners is important to ensure sustainability of those projects beyond individual political terms.    
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Full Interview: 
55MB
Alejandro Echeverri Interview
Profile: 

Alejandro Echeverri was the director general of the Urban Development Company from 2004-2005 and the director of urban projects for the mayor's office of Medellin, Colombia from 2005-2007 under Mayor Sergio Fajardo.  He is an architect by training and was a professor of architecture at the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana. Among his many architecture awards, his work with Mayor Fajardo in urban renewal won them both the Curry Stone Prize for Transformative Public Works from Architecture for Humanity in 2009. Their urban renewal projects have been praised not just for revitalizing poor neighborhoods but also for the quality and innovation of the architecture itself.

Language: 
Spanish
Nationality of Interviewee: 
Colombian
Yes
Alejandro Echeverri
J
19
Keywords 
urban renewal
budgeting
community relations