"Fortunately, those who want a chance to live as a legal resident in a modern urban center don’t have to wait for the legacy cities to act. A new city is worth far more than it costs to build one. Without relying on any charity, new cities could emerge and provide the competition that is the only real hope for the excluded and marginalized."
The Urban Expansion initiative is currently working with rapidly growing midsize cities in Colombia and Ethiopia, helping city officials as they make plans for inevitable expansion.
In Colombia, the Urban Expansion initiative has the distinct pleasure of collaborating with visionary mayors in five rapidly growing cities — Santa Marta, Montería, Tunja, Valledupar, and Yopal. Together, we are working to:
- Make realistic projections of growth in population and land cover
- Define an arterial grid of roads and public spaces in the area of urban expansion
- Secure the land that will provide parks and open spaces and carry key infrastructure and transit in the future city.
By taking these straight-forward and inexpensive steps today, the mayors are laying the foundation for future cities that are affordable, equitable, and inclusive.
The video above captures the on-the-ground efforts in Valledupar, highlighting testimonies from Mayor Freddys Socarrás and our NYU-based team as they plan ahead for the city's growth. For additional information, please find the first interim report on the Urban Expansion initiative in Colombia here.