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Moravia Flowers for Life

In the spotlight

Socio-environmental restoration of “Morro the Moravia”, to advance on cultural development, scenic, productive, environmental associations in place. What was once a Morro of 1.5 million tonnes of waste and 35 meters high, is now a garden of 30 thousand square meters, thanks to the project “Moravia Flowers for Life”


Documentary Film “Moravia, La Ruta de la Esperanza”

Presentation Moravia

News from Moravia in FAO Newsletter

At environmental restoration activities landscape intervention, the urban transformation of the site, the work of citizen awareness and link in a participatory manner, integrates each of the parties involved in the project: public administration, universities, research groups and the inhabitants of the hill, an example of urban transformation of degraded areas and citizen participation.

Achieve comprehensive transformation of the territory and improve the quality of life of 40 thousand inhabitants of Moravia and its area of ​​influence (District 4 – Aranjuez) is the fundamental purpose of the project “Moravia Flowers for Life”, in which the current Municipal Administration has invested $ 2,600 million pesos.



moravia 2004


  • Promote the active participation of the community integrating their contributions in the process of urban transformation.
  • Embed Morro area in Medellin urban infrastructure, improving environmental and landscape quality of the area.
  • Conducting educational and communication activities to change the perception in the community surrounding the area.
  • Adequacy of space for productive project.


  • Integration of the community in each of the stages of the process of urban transformation and environmental improvement of Moravia.
  • Environmental and scenic urban transformation.
  • Appropriation nose and generation of environmental awareness and conservation by the community.
  • Consolidation of space for specific flower production.

Through this project, Moravia, the most densely populated neighborhood of Medellin and used as a garbage dump of the entire city for 35 years, is now a model of environmental, economic, social and cultural transformation, and becomes local, national and international example, for the articulation of co-working between government, community, academia and private enterprise.

The “Moravia Flowers for Life” is a sample of inter-agency coordination, innovation, economic development and improving the quality of life that has been growing in the most vulnerable areas of Medellin. There are 17 institutions that take part today of the project: the Deputy Mayor of Land Management, with its Gerencia de Moravia; Secretariats of Environment, Economic Development, Citizen Participation, Governance and Human Rights, Women, Health and the Ministry of Communications.

Also participating are the Urban Development Corporation – EDU, EMVARIAS, ISVIMED, Cultural Development Center of Moravia, the Moravian Cedezo, Parque Explora, the Botanical Garden of Medellin “Joaquín Antonio Uribe” and the Technological Institution University of Antioquia and the UNESCO Chair on Sustainability at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya.

This project has three themes of transformation: economic, social and finally the urban landscape and environment, with which it has worked in environmental restoration, strengthening of productive units and social organizations in the accompanying social families and in beautifying the old garbage mountain where they got to live 2,138 families (14,600 people). Today there are only 255 families, that will be resettled in the Mirador project Moravia, which currently builds the Isvimed.

Urban-environmental intervention.  In the operated area 50 thousand ornamental plants (46 species) and 327 native trees and shrubs (27 species) will be planted.

Social intervention. 40 community members were hired for yard work (16 men and 24 women, of which 11 belong to Cojardicom, productive unit, like Servihogar, consists mostly of female-headed households in Moravia). Both units were strengthened with the project’s social intervention, that also included environmental awareness campaigns with community and educational institutions, the relocation of families still live in the area of Moravia and recognition of two icons of the city: flowers and mountains.

Environmental intervention. Most of the intervention was performed using natural treatment systems and water management runoff using plants, that intercept rainwater and increase evapotranspiration. With only 15 or 20 years, the Morro will be fully healed to minimize the presence of pollutants such as heavy metals (Mercury, Chromium, Nickel, Lead and Cadmium). Environmental interventions have included the following infrastructure:

  • Bioremediation plot, using microorganisms to reduce the effect of soil pollution.
  • Phytoremediation plot, with the use of plants that convert pollutants found in soil.
  • Leachate treatment plant by biological treatment with constructed wetlands vertical subsurface flow constructed, with the collaboration of three universities, the University of Antioquia, the University of Aarhus in Denmark and the UNESCO Chair on Sustainability from the UPC.
  • Buffer-strip or vegetated buffer zones, vegetable stripes that capture water and reduce leachate generation and the generation of surface runoff waters.
  • Areas of fences, a method which helps to stabilize, retain and control the ground to prevent slippage and / or erosion and serve as planters for planting ornamental plants or retention (which tied the ground).





Jorge Montoya – jmontoya@tdea.edu.co
Coordinador UNESCOSost Colombia

Alcaldía de Medellín
Alcaldía de Medellín - Gerencia de Moravia y Secretaría de Medio Ambiente Leer Más...

Cátedra UNESCO de Sostenibilidad de la UPC
Cátedra UNESCO de Sostenibilitat de la UPC - UNESCO Chair on Sustainability from the Polytechnical University of Catalonia Leer Más...
The UNESCO Chair on Sustainability was established at the Technical University of Catalonia in 1996, with the purpose to develop an integrated system of research, education and documentation activities focused mainly on analysing the relationship between sustainability, technology and humanism. We provide an interdisciplinary space, critical and open to refocus technology towards sustainable development, to reduce imbalances and to strengthen diversity. Our group edit/publish specialized publications related to human sustainable development, such as the "International Journal of Sustainability, Technology and Humanism”, the magazine "Sustainable?" and different non-periodical books. Actually, the UNESCO Chair on Sustainability has specific agreements with five universities in Latin America, Tecnológico de Antioquia in Medellin (Colombia), the Federal University of Bahia in Salvador de Bahia (Brazil), the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosi (UASLP) and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico and the National University of Cordoba (Argentina), forming our new delegations or decentralized offices. The five Universities altogether constitute a powerful network, which allow an easy mobility of researchers and increase the possibility to find different funded projects.

Nodo colombia de la red UNESCOSOST, constituida por la Cátedra UNESCO de Sostenibilidad en convenio con el Tecnológico de Antioquia (TdeA).  Leer Más...
La oficina UNESCOSOST Colombia se constituye en el 2008, a través de un convenio de colaboración entre la Cátedra UNESCO de Sostenibilidad de la UPC y el Tecnológico de Antioquia Institución Universitaria (TdeA), siendo la sede más antigua en América Latina de la red UNECOSOST. Actualmente la oficina está coordinada por el profesor Jorge Montoya.

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  • Funder
    Alcaldía de Medellín
  • Scope of project
    Recuperación Socio-Ambiental del Morro de Moravia
  • Completion date
    Abril 2014
  • Principal data
    Cátedra UNESCO de Sostenibilidad de la Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya- Grupo AQUASOST - Oficina UNESCOSost Colombia
  • Initial budget
    427,535 €
  • Location
    Medellín, Colombia

About the Program

The Environmental Restoration Plan of the Morro de Moravia is within the framework of the Moravia Macro Project for socio-economic and environmental recovery of the area, executed by the Mayor of Medellín and the AMVA. It aims to solve the environmental problem caused by polluted effluents (leachate) from municipal solid waste found in this old dump of Medellin, through the implementation and use of sustainable natural treatment technologies: Buffer Strips and Constructed Wetlands.

UNESCO Chair on Sustainability