OECD Urban Policy Reviews, Chile 2013

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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.


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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