Theses Master's

Paths To Urban Regeneration in Chile

Salas, Sebastian

The socio-economic and spatial transformations of many Chilean cities in the last 40 years have caused physical deterioration and social segregation in numerous central and periphery neighborhoods. In the 1980s, the country was facing a significant housing deficit. Affordable housing complexes were built massively and homogeneously in the outskirts of major cities. In most of these new developments, the city did not consider necessary public goods, services, and public infrastructure. There was not adequate access to public spaces, education, health, jobs, mobility, and transport. Despite the significant increase in affordable housing stock, the lack of investment in public programs and basic infrastructure led to the deterioration and functional obsolescence of many central and periphery neighborhoods.

Addressing the increasing housing deficit, neighborhood deterioration, and social-spatial segregation in Chilean cities has become a national priority and an urgent need for equitable, prosperous, and sustainable development of cities. New and improved regeneration programs and policies are needed to transform deteriorated urban areas into neighborhoods with better transport housing, open spaces, public infrastructure, and opportunities for residents and local communities. In this thesis I will study urban regeneration programs in Chile through interviews, quantitative and historical analysis and do cross comparative analysis among urban regeneration programs in Chile and regeneration plans in Colombia. My findings will detail how the regeneration initiatives in Chile engaged, overlooked critical social factors and infrastructure needs that enable equitable development and social mobility. I draw from these findings a more nuanced framework for Chile and Latin America regeneration initiatives. With an immediate policy focus on Chile’s more deteriorated neighborhoods that are under pressure to quickly develop more housing and urban infrastructure for vulnerable residents and new waves of migrants coming from other Latin American countries.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Sarmiento, Hugo
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
January 10, 2023