OECD Territorial Reviews: Antofagasta, Chile 2013

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Chile has been very successful in turning its natural resource endowments into a generator of growth and modernisation. However, its mining regions, including Antofagasta, face the challenge of developing a critically important primary sector in a manner that contributes to both economic growth and broader measures of well-being. Antofagasta's long term sustainability goals include a more diversified economic base, supported by a city that is lived in for its high quality of life and the opportunities it offers. To achive this, it will need to make the most of its natural endowments, improve the city's physical attractiveness and ensure better urban policy outcomes. It will also require regional and local actors to act in a strategic and innovative manner. This study focuses on economic diversification, urbanism and governance in the city of Antofagasta. Consideration is given to: economic and socio-economic trends such as those associated with labour markets and skills, as well as quality of life factors; opportunities for specialisation, diversification and innovation within and beyond the mining cluster, including throught its port network; urban policy challenges especially in land use, waste management, environment and public transport; and to the role of public governance in helping the city realise its economic and quality of life objectives.

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Antofagasta and Chile in the 21st century

Chile has been remarkably successful in turning its natural resource endowments into a generator of growth and modernisation. However, specific challenges remain for its mining regions, which often bear the costs associated with resource extraction while reaping only a portion of the benefits. Antofagasta, built around copper mining, is Chile’s sixth most populous city and contributes 4.7% of the country’s total GDP. Despite its ability to generate high growth rates and achieve one of the country’s highest standards of living, the quality of life it offers does not appear commensurate with its economic strength, due in part to challenges associated with its nature as a fast-growing urban area economically dependent on natural resources. This chapter examines economic and socio-economic trends in Antofagasta focusing on economic growth, the labour market and skills, and the quality of life offered, particularly in terms of life satisfaction.


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