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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.

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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.

English

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