Medellin won a 2010 United Nations Human Settlement Program (UN-HABITAT) Scroll of Honor award on Monday at the celebration of World Habitat Day.
The ceremony took place in Shanghai, China and recognized individuals and institutions responsible for improving living conditions in towns and cities. Medellin received the award for the social programs “Medellin Solidaria,” “Buen Comienzo,” and “Encuesta de la Calidad de Vida,” all run by the Office of the Mayor of Medellin.
Medellin Solidaria seeks to reduce the amount of Medellin’s citizens living in extreme poverty from 10 percent to five percent. Buen Comienzo supports 45,000 children of poor families, giving them access to proper nutrition and education. Encuestra de la Calidad de Vida is a quality of life survey that measures factors like population, housing, health and education in the areas that make up the municipality of Medellin.
“Medellin has been well-known all over the world for violence and drug trafficking, which is like an iron brand, very difficult to eliminate,” said Medellin Mayor Alonso Salazar. “But we have been working for a long time on social transformation and that the city is starting to look the other way is very important to us.”
The Scroll of Honor Award was first given in 1989, and this year 50 social programs were nominated. Others among the six recipients include programs in Austria, China, Singapore, Morocco, and South Africa.