This city in northwestern Colombia aspires to become Latin America's innovation capital by 2021.

Implementing the "MedellinInnovation" campaign will entail an investment of $389 million, the municipal government said.

The initiative was crafted after Medellin was designated in March as Innovative City of the Year, beating out New York and Tel Aviv in a competition organized by Citigroup, the Marketing Services Department of WSJ. Magazine and the Urban Land Institute, Deputy Mayor Luis Felipe Hoyos told Efe's Colombia.inn.

One aspect of the project focuses on "bringing innovation to society in general," according to Juan Camilo Quintero, director of Ruta, a public-private partnership that promotes innovation in the surrounding province of Antioquia.

Attracting investment is not enough, he said.

"We want high-quality jobs ... we want knowledge employment," Quintero said.

The campaign will formally kick off in November with the MedellinInnovation Festival, to be followed by construction of the MedellinInnovation District, which will fill 1 million sq. meters (10.7 million sq. ft.) on the north side of Colombia's second city.

The effort will allow the city to leave its difficult past behind, Quintero said.

In the 1980s, Medellin bore the dubious distinction of being the world's most violent large city, thanks to the carnage unleashed by notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar. EFE