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The neighborhood of Comuna 13, located on the periphery of Medellin, the second-largest city in Colombia, is one of the poorest section of the city. During the regime of Pablo Escobar, the notorious Colombian drug lord, many fled the city to the hills causing overpopulation and unsustainable growth leading to a large shortage in basic municipal services such as electricity, water, sewage, police and transportation, in turn leading to low quality of life for its residents. Crime and gang war gained upper hand, and Comuna became known as the most violent neighborhood in the city of Medellin.

But over the last decade, the city has worked hard to recover from years of violence, not only with law-enforcement initiatives but by making a series of innovative, public investments designed to integrate the city’s low-income residents and communities with its wealthier commercial centre. One of these initiatives is the construction of a massive hillside escalator.

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© Amusing Planet, 2015.



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