Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

La reinvención de Medellín


Author Info

  • Andrés Sánchez Jabba



Medellin, the second most important amongst Colombian cities, was once the country´s main industrial hub. This success was based on the rise of its textile cluster, which constituted the primary source of urban economic growth during most of the twentieth century. However, excessive specialization in textile production generated a sharp industrial crisis associated to the commercial liberalization of the 1990´s. On the other hand, the emergence of organized drug trafficking significantly increased the levels of violence. The combination between these two factors triggered a profound urban crisis, characterized by institutional instability. Although this distressing scene seemed difficult to revert, Medellin figured out how to reinvent itself: violence decreased, social and economic indicators improved and the city decided to orient urban economic development towards the generation of knowledge and high tech products and services. This represents a new urban strategy which relies on the intensive use of technology and requires an increased level of innovation and human capital, aspects that favor economic growth and the generation of wealth. RESUMEN: En este trabajo se analiza la evolución reciente de la economía de Medellín, una de las principales ciudades colombianas. Con la adopción del modelo de industrialización por sustitución de importaciones esta urbe se convirtió en el centro industrial más importante del país. Esto se debió al surgimiento de su aglomerado textil, el cual fue la fuente de crecimiento económico urbano durante gran parte del siglo XX. Sin embargo, el excesivo grado de especialización en la producción textil generó una profunda crisis industrial cuando inició el proceso de liberalización comercial en la década de 1990. Adicionalmente, el surgimiento del narcotráfico incrementó considerablemente los niveles de violencia. La combinación de estos dos factores dejó a la ciudad sumida en una profunda crisis urbana hacia finales del siglo XX, caracterizada por la inestabilidad institucional. Aunque este desolador panorama parecía difícil de revertir, Medellín supo reinventarse: los niveles de violencia disminuyeron, los indicadores sociales y económicos mejoraron y la ciudad buscó el resurgimiento urbano orientando su economía hacia la generación de conocimiento apalancado en la innovación y el uso intensivo de la tecnología. Esta última representa una nueva estrategia urbana, consistente con las nuevas condiciones y que puede ayudar a generar una mayor riqueza y desarrollo económico.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info


as in new window
Length: 0
Date of creation: 17 Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:col:000102:010058

Contact details of provider:

Related research

Keywords: Medellín; economía urbana; industria; textil;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Adolfo Meisel Roca, 1987. "¿Por qué se disipó el dinamismo industrial de Barranquilla?," Lecturas de Economía, Universidad de Antioquia, Departamento de Economía, issue 23, pages 57-84.
  2. Andrés Sánchez Jabba & Ana María Díaz, Alejandro Peláez & Omar Castelblanco, Johanna Tautiva & Cristina González, Laura Ángel, 2012. "Evolución geográfica del homicidio en Colombia," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO SOBRE ECONOMÍA REGIONAL 009750, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA - ECONOMÍA REGIONAL.
  3. Carlos Medina & Christian Posso & Jorge Andrés Tamayo, . "Costos de la violencia urbana y políticas públicas: algunas lecciones de Medellín," Borradores de Economia 674, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)



This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


Access and download statistics


When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:col:000102:010058. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Banco De La República - Economía Regional).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.