Lifting peripheral fortunes: Upgrading transit improves spatial, income and gender equity in Medellin

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - south america, land use - transit oriented development, land use - impacts, land use - planning, planning - surveys, policy - equity, policy - environment


Transit-oriented development, Quality of life, Social capital, Participatory planning, Urban equity


New transit development often try to provide low-carbon mobility, and improve accessibility. However, it is often unclear who profits most from new transit developments, whether these transit developments can improve equity, and if yes, in which dimensions. Here we study the change in quality of life, instrumentalised as perceived and measured social capital, socio-economic well-being, and quality of public infrastructure after transit developments in Medellin, Columbia. We make use of a detailed questionnaire of 187 questions from 2009 and 2012, aggregate responses into 14 indicators, and compare changes in quality of life between three transit developments zones (comunas), three non-intervention zones, and between income levels and gender. We find that equity improved overall across geographical zones, income, and gender, even as changes in specific quality of life dimensions varied. Our results demonstrate that well-designed transit interventions and participatory planning processes can make cities not only more climate friendly but also more equal.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.