OECD Urban Policy Reviews

ISSN :
2306-9341 (online)
ISSN :
2306-9333 (print)
DOI :
10.1787/23069341
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OECD Urban Policy Reviews provides a comprehensive assessment of a country’s urban policies as seen through multiple lenses, including economic, social and environmental. First, the reviews focus on the policies designed and introduced by the central government that directly address urban development and regional development policies with an urban development focus. Second, the reviews analyse how national spatial planning for urban regions, along with specific sectoral policies, impact urban development, directly and indirectly. Often, public policies are designed to target sectoral objectives with little or no regard for their profound impact on urban areas, and the means available to implement policies at the local level. Third, the reviews address issues of governance, including inter-governmental fiscal relationships and the various institutional, fiscal and policy tools aimed at fostering co-ordinated urban development among different levels of government and different administrations at the central level. For example, reducing the fragmentation among urban governance structures can help enhance effectiveness and outcomes in public service delivery and other policy areas. From country to country, the OECD Urban Policy Reviews follow a consistent methodology that features cross-national comparisons and recommendations on the integration of sectoral policies into urban development policy, planning and management.

 
OECD Urban Policy Reviews, Chile 2013

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Author(s):
OECD
Publication Date :
29 Apr 2013
Pages :
212
ISBN :
9789264191808 (PDF) ; 9789264191792 (print)
DOI :
10.1787/9789264191808-en

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This review of Chile's urban policy finds that Chile has undergone significant transformation in the past three decades, including growth in GDP, population levels and urbanisation. This growth has been a key factor in Chile’s success in reaching an improved quality of life.  However, Chile ranks lower than many other OECD member countries on a variety of urban-related quality-of-life factors, such as income, housing, jobs and the environment.  Chile’s urban and metropolitan development practices have traditionally been sector-driven, and today the need for well-integrated approaches to urbanism are increasingly recognised among urban policy makers.  This report examines the economic and socio-economic trends in Chile’s urban areas including population growth, and mounting inequality; it analyses four policy areas with significant implications for national urban programming, specifically land-use and zoning, housing, public transport, and the environment; and it examines possible approaches for revitalising the urban governance structure in metropolitan and urban areas, as well as mechanisms to reinforce strategic planning and service-delivery capacity.

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    Foreword

    Urban issues have emerged as key features on national policy agendas. The importance of cities and their corresponding metropolitan areas to the national economy makes them critical players in the international marketplace. This in turn leads governments to renew their support to cities. At a time of increasing globalisation and international competition for investment, urban regions have become the focus of a wide range of public interventions. Throughout OECD member countries, these policies encompass plans to solve traditional urban problems – urban sprawl, abandoned districts and poverty – and newer issues such as competitiveness strategy, city marketing, environmental sustainability and innovation.

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    Acronyms and abbreviations
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    Assessment and recommendations

    Chile is a highly urbanised country. Almost 77% of its population lives in a metropolitan or other functional urban area. At the same time, its cities are quite heterogeneous in size, composition and resource capacity. The country has grown successfully and urbanised rapidly, despite the lack of a unified urban policy. Today, Chile finds it has outgrown many of the mechanisms and instruments that have hitherto framed and guided urban development and management, and it is actively evaluating policy and governance options suitable for constructing a more dynamic and integrated approach to urbanism.

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    The Chilean urban system and its challenges

    The quality of life in Chile has improved significantly over the past decades, and in general, Chileans report greater satisfaction with their lives than the OECD average. However, Chile ranks lower than many other OECD members on a variety of urban-related topics including income, housing, jobs and the environment. In 2010, approximately 15.2 million people lived in Chile’s urban areas, representing about 89% of the population; and it is estimated that by 2025, the urban population will constitute over 90% of the total. This chapter examines economic and socio-economic trends in Chile’s urban areas, and raises the key issues and challenges facing its cities and metropolitan regions using the OECD methodology establishing functional urban areas (FUAs). Among the main challenges identified are population growth, mounting inequality, low levels of housing stock despite major improvements in access to housing, and environmental concerns, particularly with respect to air quality and access to green space.

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    Frameworks and sector policies for urban development in Chile

    Chile has undergone significant transformation in the past three decades, including growth in its GDP, population levels and urbanisation. This growth has been a key factor in the county’s success. Chile’s urban and metropolitan development practices have traditionally been sector driven, and today the need for well-integrated approaches to urbanism are increasingly recognised among urban policy makers. This chapter makes the case for such an approach to urban development and management as a means to help reduce inequalities within and between urban areas. It provides an overview of the policy and planning frameworks governing urban development in Chile, and analyses four policy areas with significant implications for national urban programming: land use and zoning, housing, public transport and the environment, particularly with respect to air pollution, green space and the risk of natural hazards.

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    Revitalising Chile's urban governance architecture

    Chile’s urban governance architecture has provided a solid framework for urban development, but it may no longer be adequate to meet the pressures of continued rapid urbanisation. Improving Chile’s urban outcomes will require adjusting its urban governance framework, including building the capacity to bring central and sub-national, public and private actors together to build a whole-of-city approach to urban initiatives. This chapter focuses on Chile’s urban administrative structures, recent sub-national reforms and sub-national financing practices. It analyses the administrative and institutional fragmentation affecting urban governance and explores institutionally based governance models, including those for metropolitan areas. Finally, it examines mechanisms to reinforce strategic planning and public service delivery capacity based on the country’s own context and international experience.

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