30 Dec '11, 5pm

Slum residents get a giant escalator for Christmas. No wait, hear us out!

If you had $7 million to use on behalf of the residents of your poorest slums, how would you distribute it? For Medellin, Colombia, that’s a no-brainer: Blow the whole wad on a MONSTER ESCALATOR . Wait, wait! It’s actually a good idea. The giant escalator helps slum residents get to their hillside homes from the city center -- a nonsensically steep climb of more than 1,200 vertical feet. To fully appreciate how radically this thing changes the landscape of the slums, you need to watch the video above -- the BBC reports that the moving stairway turned a more-than-30-minute hike into a “ six-minute glide .” It’s essentially vertical public transit; like a train, it improves quality of life and makes commutes less soul-killing. But in Medellin it makes them less quad-killing too. Like Bogota to the south, Medellin earned a reputation as a bastion of crime and drug trafficking...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/list/2011-12-30-slum-residents-get-a...

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