skip to content

2016 - 17 Events

Centre of Latin American Studies

2 Mayors

2 Mayors 2 Cities - Urban Transformation in Cali and Medellín

Wednesday 15 March – 2-6pm, Keynes Hall, King’s College, Cambridge

Cali and Medellín (Colombia) have undergone significant urban transformation over the past twenty years, having to overcome complex socio-spatial urban conditions and historical legacies. Since the late 1990s, new political postures emerged amongst a selected group of university professors, who were able to employ their academic experiences in order to tackle the difficult circumstances of their respective cities. With a diachronic perspective, this conference will critically explore their accomplishments, struggles and urban legacy, while reasoning upon the future of these two Latin American cities.

Medellín - Sergio Fajardo holds a PhD in Mathematics, and has taught and published on this subject. Before launching his first political campaign, as mayor of Medellín, he surrounded himself with other academics, including a group of architects and urbanists from Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana de Medellín. As Mayor of Medellín, his main challenge was to turn one of the most violent cities of the world into an inhabitable, more socially just, and commercially viable human environment. The key result was the well-known Proyectos Urbanos Integrales (PUI): a programme of urban intervention whose main purpose was to provide education and recreation, while creating mechanisms to allow greater mobility in the city.

Cali - Rodrigo Guerrero is a doctor and PhD in Epidemiology, who served as President of Universidad del Valle in Cali (1982-84) and as Director of the Fundación Carvajal: a philantropic organisation which offers assistance to deprived communities on the outskirts of Cali. He was elected Mayor of Cali for the first time in 1992, where he used his epidemiological knowledge and clinical experience to devise a system of statistical interpretation that helped the production of more accurate strategies to reduce urban crime. Ultimately, his study produced a new understanding of Cali’s urban geography that would then influence two successive master plans for the city.


Dr Felipe Hernández | Chair, Cities South of Cancer, Department of Architecture | Fellow, King’s College
Ángela Franco-Calderón | PhD Candidate, Cities South of Cancer, Department of Architecture | King’s College
Giulia Torino | PhD Candidate, Cities South of Cancer, Department of Architecture | King’s College

Kindly supported by:
King’s College, University of Cambridge
Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge
Centre for Latin American Studies (CLAS), University of Cambridge

Information Poster
Free event. Please register here