City Development, Natural Resources and Human Impact: The Case of Medellin, Colombia


Medellin is a 3.5 M inhabitant city located in an Andean valley in northwestern Colombia. Its initial prosperity was due to agriculture and cattle-raising carried out in the valley itself and sold to the surrounding gold mining fields. The investment of these monies in coffee plantations and industry boosted the city development, accelerated urban growth, and since the middle of twentieth century, relegated food production to surrounding regions, which are also responsible for almost the totality of natural resource supply: water, electricity, food, building and industrial raw materials. Among the problems which will have to be solved in order to reach a sustainable development are relocation of population living in areas exposed to natural risks, improvement of road communications with surrounding regions and of internal public transportation and pollution control.

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M. Hermelin, "City Development, Natural Resources and Human Impact: The Case of Medellin, Colombia," Natural Resources, Vol. 4 No. 8, 2013, pp. 473-482. doi: 10.4236/nr.2013.48058.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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