Scientific article
Open access

Resilience as a City Brand: The Cases of the Comuna 13 and Moravia in Medellin, Colombia

Published inSustainability, vol. 12, no. 20, 8469
Publication date2020

In Medellin, during this last decade, the municipality and the private sector have been very active in the reconstruction of the city's war-torn image. With the acknowledged objective of attracting foreign investments and tourists, the second city of Colombia has been consecutively branded as “innovative”, “smart”, “sustainable” and lately as a “resilient city”. Since 2016 and the integration of the city as one of the first members of the “100 Resilient Cities” network pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, Medellin's authorities have emphasized “urban resilience” as a core value of the city and its residents. Until now, few studies have put into perspective the notion of “branding” with that of “resilience”. By looking closely at discourses on the promotion of the city, as well as its burgeoning tourism sector, this article aims to fill this gap by providing a thorough analysis of the way urban resilience is used as a city-brand in a city still struggling to overcome high levels of violence. This study aims to show that antagonists' visions of resilience are at stake when comparing the branding discourses of public authorities and the representations of self-settled communities who are at the centre of these narratives. While branding discourses praise the resilience of Medellin communities, many in these same communities tend to reject this vision of resilience as self-reliance (adaptation) and instead call for structural changes (transformation).

  • Urban resilience
  • 100 Resilient Cities
  • Branding
  • Tourism
  • Global cities
  • Innovation
  • Urban transformation
  • Violence
Citation (ISO format)
NAEF, Patrick James. Resilience as a City Brand: The Cases of the Comuna 13 and Moravia in Medellin, Colombia. In: Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, n° 20, p. 8469. doi: 10.3390/su12208469
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal2071-1050

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