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La reinvención de Medellín

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  • Andrés Sánchez Jabba

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Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrés Sánchez Jabba, 2012. "La reinvención de Medellín," Documentos de Trabajo Sobre Economía Regional y Urbana 010058, Banco de la República - Economía Regional.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000102:010058
    DOI: 10.32468/dtseru.174
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.32468/dtseru.174
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andres Sanchez & Jabba Ana Maria Diaz & Alejandro Pelaez & Omar Castelblanco & Johanna Tautiva & Cristina Gonzalez & Laura Angel, 2012. "Evolución geográfica del homicidio en Colombia," Documentos de trabajo sobre Economía Regional y Urbana 169, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    2. Carlos Medina & Christian Posso & Jorge Andrés Tamayo, 2011. "Costos de la violencia urbana y políticas públicas: algunas lecciones de Medellín," Borradores de Economia 674, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    3. 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.
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    Keywords

    Medellín; economía urbana; industria; textil;

    JEL classification:

    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R19 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Other

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