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OECD Territorial Reviews: Antofagasta, Chile 2013

image of OECD Territorial Reviews: Antofagasta, Chile 2013

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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Innovating urban governance in Antofagasta

Antofagasta’s rapid growth has accentuated the need to quickly and effectively address complex urban policy issues, including economic competitiveness, urban infrastructure, environmental quality and connectivity. There is a strong movement in Antofagasta to ensure that the city is prepared for its future and can provide a higher quality of life for its residents. Yet the ability to manage the challenges ahead and engage in a vibrant process of transformation is constrained by public governance institutions and frameworks that are not adapted to Antofagasta’s dynamic context. This chapter explores some of Antofagasta’s governance challenges, particularly with respect to financial and human resources, to the development and implementation of a comprehensive strategic vision, and to the role of citizens and external stakeholders in public service delivery. The chapter makes a call for greater innovation in sub-national government and governance to support the city as it moves forward in realising its aims.

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