Ciudad de Rio, City of River, is a private residential and housing redevelopment project by the Medellin river to revitalize the area in Medellin which was once industrial. The park inside, built by the private development, is a “miracle”, according to Andres Restrepo, a Medellin native, who lived in Spain for nine years working as a journalist, and now a student of law in Medellin. According to him, 10 years ago for fear that they would be robbed, no wealthy people spent time in parks, but would only go into malls.
When we were there at around 6pm on a Saturday, there are boys skateboarding, families celebrating their toddler’s birthday, groups of young people playing guitar and singing. “It is like a park in Europe, and it is unimaginable for Colombia”. When it first opened, this park was guarded with lots of police to ensure security, but now no police can be seen. It has also become a popular location for the LGBT community in this relatively conservative country, seems like with freedom, safety also came liberalism. and it seems like when a space has been made to encourage people to come, it will drive out the bad elements in society, the more people come, the safer it become. The Museum of Modern Art, a former Iron factory, is just adjacent to the park.