Medellín climbs the ladder

Las Independencias de la Comuna 13 neighbourhood became the first low-income sector, which has the first free and public- outdoor escalators in the history of Colombia.

The stairs, which are divided into six sections and will operate three hours a day, facilitate the entry and exit of the 135,000 inhabitants of the Commune 13 living in the hill, which has a height equivalent to a 23 story building.

The mayor of Medellin, Alonso Salazar, said the work cost 13 billion pesos (US. 6.7 million) and the daily activity period of the escalators will increase gradually.

“We are used to see escalators inside shopping malls, but the ones in Medellin will be the first to be used as public transportation; a mobility solution for these impoberished areas with difficult access.”

The ambitious project, which began to develop on the steep slopes of this area in January 2011, created a great expectation within the community, who began to settle in this sector 40 years ago and got used to raise and lower the high hill on foot.

This work is part of a network that sew up different urban interventions within the districts of the Commune 13 along 128 kilometers. The Integral Urban Project developed by the municipality of Medellín includes walkways, parks, libraries and entertainment venues that will have a total cost of 65 billion pesos (US. 34 million).

In gratitude, the neighbours embellished the façades of their houses to make the trip enjoyable for the “passengers” of this new mean of transport.

+ VIDEO: here

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