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A student walks past a mural, part of the project "Medellin is painted for life," at Comuna 13, one of the poorest areas in the city of Medellin, Colombia, on Tuesday, ahead of the World Urban Forum 7. The forum, which will take place in Medellin from April 5 to 11, is the largest United Nations conference on sustainable urban development and cities. Over 10,000 participants from 160 countries are expected to participate in the conference, examining the theme "Urban Equity in Development - Cities for Life."

Medellin was chosen by popular vote through the internet as "Innovative City of the Year" in a contest organized by The Wall Street Journal and Citigroup in 2013. The distinction was made for its modern transportation system, public library, escalators built in a shantytown and schools that have allowed the integration of society.

A young man looks down at a mural that is part of the project "Medellin is painted for life", in Comuna 13, in Medellin, Colombia, on April 1.RAUL ARBOLEDA / AFP - Getty Images
A view of Comuna 13, one of the poorest areas of Medellin, Antioquia department, Colombia, on April 1.RAUL ARBOLEDA / AFP - Getty Images