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Planning and designing urban open spaces for low income neighbourhoods in Chile : case study, Alto Hospicio Chile Leyton Elizalde, Paula


With the global increase in the density of urban population, policy makers and planners have been paying significantly more attention to measures designed to promote sustainable development and to improve the quality of life in the urban environment. Chile’s marked demographic explosion and its rapid urbanisation increased the housing demand; as a result, this overcrowding created land invasions and informal settlements. From the 1980s to 2006, the Chilean government implemented a policy that reduced the total housing deficit by half, unfortunately, this policy favoured quantity over quality and resulted in extended social housing complexes as opposed to designing complete neighbourhoods. In addition, unplanned and informal settlements arose in many regions of the country and were relocated to the periphery of existing cities. This excluded residents from their entire social and economic system. Due to a lack of spatial and social connections, especially urban open space, these communities have morphed into pockets of inequity, delinquency and spatial segregation. Using a case study approach to address the research questions, this study evaluates how urban open space currently functions in Alto Hospicio and aims to contribute with a design framework that may guide and inform government, municipal authorities, planners, and designers in the implementation of more adequate urban open spaces in the under-utilized landscape of Chile’s low-income communities.

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