Medellín City Performance, Brand Image and Reputation

In recent years, Medellín has become famous thanks to Netflix and its Narcos series. Whether it has given the city a positive image is another question. In 2013, Medellín was elected the world’s most innovative city by the Urban Land Institute. What do the different indices say about the city’s progress, five years later?

Let's take a closer look at:

  • Medellín's attractiveness as a place for doing business
  • Its urban innovation performance
  • How attractive for digital nomads?
  • Medellín and sustainability

With thanks to our friends and knowledge partners Bloom Consulting, 2thinknow and Resonance Consulting for supporting our city profiles by contributing latest research insights and benchmarking data.


Charles Landry on Medellín:

In what feels like the blink of an eye, Medellin has become the poster child of urban transformation, as the days of Pablo Escobar and cartel drug crime are over. In 2013, out of a list of 200 cities, Medellín was chosen as ‘Innovative City of the Year’ by the Wall Street Journal, Citibank and the Urban Land Institute. It competes with Bogota as the innovation centre of Colombia.

Yet its launch into a hipster hangout – it is the top South American city on Nomadlist - was based on civic creativity.

As former mayor Fajardo noted: ‘Our most beautiful buildings must be in our poorest areas’ – remember the iconic public libraries in the favelas. Most importantly, a new metro system, cable cars, and escalators knit the fragmented city centre together and made it safer.

This public realm creativity made the platform upon which Meddelín's start-up ecology has been able to flourish.


You'd like to read the full story? Please log in or (if you are not yet a subscriber) support our work by joining TPBO Premium.

The Editorial Team

Stay up to date on latest place brand insights, strategies, stories and examples: join our mailing list! You'll receive an email summary of highlights every month. Benefit from more frequent updates by following us now on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter!