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Metrocables

Metrocables

This research project examines the links between mobility, poverty reduction, social inclusion and urban integration. It seeks to learn systematically from a critical assessment of a set of interventions fostered by the local government of Medellín, Colombia's second largest city (population 3.5 million). Over the past decade the city's government has sought to upgrade and integrate into the city's fabric large areas marked for years by severe poverty and violence. A central component of such efforts is the introduction of two aerial cable-car lines (Metrocables) linked to the city's mass-transit (surface metro) system, thus substantially increasing accessibility for the local population while physically and symbolically integrating these previously no-go areas to the rest of the city. The speed and comparatively low cost of construction, and low levels of particulate emissions of aerial cable-cars, are part of their appeal in dense and hilly urban areas, to the extent that the system is being considered or implemented by local governments in Colombia and elsewhere. The research also seeks to examine the transferability of aerial cable-car technology to cities with similar topographic, institutional and socio-economic conditions in Latin America and elsewhere, including China.

The project (Research Grant RES-167-25-0562) is funded by the UK Government through the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Department for International Development (DFID) joint scheme for Research on International Development (Poverty Alleviation). The purpose of the scheme is “to provide a more robust conceptual and empirical basis for development, and to enhance the quality and impact of social science research which contributes towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals”.

For more information on the ESRC-DFID scheme (including a list of successful applications), click here