MIB Quebrada Juan Bobo


MIB Quebrada Juan Bobo

Mismatches Location Segregation Vulnerable groups
Policies and regulations Local policies
Urban Design Urban fabrics Services and infrastructure
Promotion and production Favelas/Slums

Main objectives of the project

El proyecto MIB Quebrada Juan Bobo de Medellín muestra el poder transformador de la planificación urbana estratégica a la hora de abordar retos polifacéticos. Al abordar los déficits de vivienda, la degradación medioambiental y las infraestructuras inadecuadas, la iniciativa mejoró las condiciones de vida de las comunidades vulnerables al tiempo que fomentaba la inclusión social y la resiliencia. Mediante asociaciones entre organismos gubernamentales, organizaciones comunitarias y residentes, el proyecto logró resultados notables, demostrando el valor de los enfoques holísticos del desarrollo urbano.


  • 2004: Implementation


  • Empresa de Desarrollo Urbano (EDU) de Medellín


Continent: North America
Country/Region: Colombia, Medellín


In recent years, Medellín has undergone significant institutional, social, and physical transformations to address specific challenges in defined areas. These efforts aim to enhance housing adequacy, revamp public spaces, provide community facilities, and develop mobility systems. The Empresa de Desarrollo Urbano (EDU) of Medellín, a state-owned company with private capital and financial independence, spearheads these initiatives. Through its Integral Urban Projects (MIB), it has devised long-term intervention methodologies that serve as templates for areas grappling with unplanned growth, housing deficits, low quality of life indices, high crime rates, or a lack of community facilities and public spaces. One exemplary endeavor is the MIB Quebrada Juan Bobo.

The MIB Quebrada Juan Bobo project tackled the natural risks associated with the proliferation of informal housing along a ravine, necessitating the relocation of over 1,260 residents residing in high-risk dwellings. It also entailed restoring environmental reserves and dismantling structures along the ravine's edge, where 80% of the houses suffered from structural and functional deficiencies. Among these, 35% were situated on ravine slopes in areas with geotechnical restrictions, and 94% were unauthorized. The MIB Quebrada Juan Bobo stood out as a pioneering pilot project, the largest of its kind in terms of achievements and attention garnered. These interventions also influenced the decision to place the Metrocable, a segment of Medellín’s public transport system, in the area. Additionally, it paved the way for strategic programs aimed at environmental restoration and the enhancement and relocation of high-risk housing.

Not only were the existing structures along Quebrada Juan Bobo deemed critically unsafe in terms of their physical and functional integrity, but a land and environmental survey also unveiled pollution and water contamination issues. The sewer system operated informally, with an average of approximately 312 sq. ft. per four-member dwelling. The absence of a structured public mobility plan resulted in predominantly informal mobility options, posing significant risks to inhabitants, who were also exposed to landslide hazards, where 90% of sliding debris could contain sewage water. This project facilitated 85 home improvements and 29 replacements of severely deteriorated homes, constructed on the same plot to preserve existing urban structures and assist families in homeownership endeavors.

The MIB Quebrada Juan Bobo initiative fostered a collaboration between national, departmental, and municipal governments to offer new housing subsidies and improvements. Responding to the evident demand, Colombia’s Ministry of Environment, Housing, and Territorial Development (MAVDT) initiated a subsidy pool, with the Municipality of Medellín allocating a unit value of USD 3,000 and raising funds through a trust. The management and intervention model for Juan Bobo necessitated institutional and organizational coordination among numerous entities, programs, and projects. Stakeholders maintained continuous dialogue with local civic organizations and technical managers of the project. The strategy behind the Juan Bobo project emphasized community participation, wherein direct beneficiaries actively engaged in decision-making, self-assessment, and reflection, fostering awareness and responsibility among inhabitants through housing programs.

The success of the MIB Quebrada Juan Bobo project stems from its effective coordination among multiple stakeholders, ensuring a broader impact. It also promoted community participation to ensure solutions aligned with local needs while nurturing a sense of ownership. EDU and the Medellín Social Interest Housing Fund (FOVIMED) collaborated with over 12 local government entities and programs, including the Aburrá Valley Metropolitan Area, Municipal Potable Water and Basic Sanitation Program, Department of Public Works, Empresas Públicas de Medellín, Department of Health, Institute of Sports and Recreation (INDER), Administrative Planning Department, Department of Finance, Medellín Government Department, and Social Welfare Department. In addition to providing labor for cleaning, worksite maintenance, and home improvements, communities contributed human resources for negotiations, newly formed committees, and community project management.