Urban and Population Geography working group

City expansion through large-scale projects: Actors, Interests and Strategies in Santiago de Chile


The dissertation project deals with the actor-oriented analysis of the planning of large-scale urban development projects on the outskirts of Santiago de Chile. As in other metropolises in the region, Santiago has for several years been the setting for large-scale private projects of a 'quality'; that break with traditional patterns of urban development. Private real estate developers, who often have considerable amounts of international financial capital and locally anchored social capital, initiate, plan and implement new urban districts on the 'greenfield site'; as a package solution, i. e. housing projects for up to 100,000 inhabitants each including supply, transport and social infrastructure. While the competent public authorities at regional and national level promote this form of private, island based urban development and make it an official urban development policy, local authorities in the affected districts as well as local residents and other civil society actors are finding it increasingly difficult to make their voice heard.

The interests, strategies and action rationales of the individual public and private actors in the interaction of the different levels of action (local, regional, national) are examined using the example of two municipalities that are subject to particularly strong development pressure and where a whole series of major private projects have already been launched or are about to start construction. To what extent is a new mode of public-private urban development institutionalised in Santiago, and what does this mean for the principles of democratic decision-making such as participation and transparency, which are actively propagated at the urban level in Chile?


Research Assistent: Dr. Michael Lukas

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