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Latin America: The Latest Architecture and News

The Urban Transformation of Medellín: A Case Study

CityMakers, The Global Community of Architects Who Learn from Exemplary Cities and Their Makers, is working with Archdaily to publish a series of articles about Barcelona, Medellin, and Rotterdam. The authors are the architects, urban planners, and/or strategists behind the projects that have transformed these three cities and are studied in the "Schools of Cities" and "Documentary Courses" made by CityMakers. On this occasion, Victor Restrepo, Coordinator of CityMakers in Medellin, presents his article "Medellin: A Case Study".

Medellín stands as an inspiring example for many cities worldwide. It is a city that transitioned from deep collective fear to hopeful enthusiasm for urban and social life characterized by quality and coexistence. The city's crisis has always been associated with violence and drug trafficking. However, this crisis is more structural and profound, it responds to many more factors, some of which are associated with the accelerated growth of its population, as in many Latin American cities.

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Six Interviews to Understand Latin American Architecture

Multifaceted and filled with complexities, the landscape of architecture and urbanism in Latin America unveils specific nuances and challenges in light of the issues faced by various countries, such as social inequality, violence, and rapid urban growth. Within this context, architectural practice assumes a significant role in crafting feasible and appropriate solutions tailored to each reality, emphasizing the importance of reaffirming local references and narratives in this process.

In the face of the established hegemony, particularly by North America and Europe, which often marginalizes Latin American architectural and urban achievements, especially those not even recognized as such, the appreciation of this diversity and complexity becomes imperative for any consideration and intervention in the region. Below, we have selected six interviews that aid in understanding the architecture of Latin America and contribute to a more contextualized and sensitive approach to its needs, potential, and richness.

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Decarbonization and Energy Efficiency in Latin America: How to Progress Towards a More Sustainable Architecture?

In the context of global initiatives to promote energy efficiency and the decarbonization of buildings, Latin America is at the center of the debate. The International Seminar on Sustainable and NetZero Buildings 2023, held in Bogotá and organized by CCCS, IEA, UNIANDES, CAF, and CEELA, aimed primarily to create a space for the exchange of experiences, such as Oliver Schütte's No Footprint House, while simultaneously conducting a review of government policies and the implementation of norms and standards in the region.

Among panels and conferences featuring Clara Camarasa, Nicola Borregaard, Laura Chapa, Paola Valencia, Iván Osuna, Juan Carlos Vega, Angélica Ospina, and Diego Velandia, five main learnings emerged as lessons: from creating more relevance and energy calculations to the development of the timber industry - and certifications.