Between 2016 and 2019, the Medellín Green Corridors project created an ecological continuity between various natural spaces to restore the connectivity of green and freshwater ecosystems, promoting the mobility of species in the city. In addition, it planted thousands of trees and created urban gardens, all with the aim of reversing the impacts of urbanization on the health of the environment and people’s quality of life.
Cities around the world are increasingly turning to nature-based solutions and adopting them in their climate change action plans. These solutions are a series of actions, strategies or measures that seek to take advantage of the potential of nature to solve various problems or challenges, such as food security, access to clean water or climate change. They involve the protection, restoration or sustainable management of ecosystems through measures that benefit both the planet and people.
One of the problems that Medellín wanted to address with the project is the heat island effect, which afflicts many cities. This occurs when there is a higher temperature in an urban center than in its surroundings thanks to construction, pollution from traffic or industries, the presence of materials such as asphalt that absorb heat and the reduced green areas. With climate change, this effect is expected to worsen over time. Likewise, by then, the city had a deficit of green spaces in relation to its number of inhabitants.
Against this background, the city created 36 green corridors, planted 8,800 trees, planted 90,000 species of minor plants, and conserved 65 hectares of natural areas. According to a WWF report, with the measures, the average temperature of the city was reduced by two degrees Celsius, the emission of 160,787 kg of CO 2 per year and the death of approximately 678 people due to heart problems were also avoided. For the project, 16.3 million dollars were invested, however, it is estimated that it will produce benefits of 136 million dollars between 2020 and 2030.