\ How urban planning can help overhaul Santiago – Committee For Sydney


How urban planning can help overhaul Santiago

July 4, 2018

Source: BN Americas
Author: Javiera Gracia

4 July, 2018

Chilean capital Santiago must reevaluate its urban planning strategy as the city’s infrastructure is facing new pressures due to decades of spontaneous growth, uneven plans and new demographic changes.

During a conference held by the country’s construction chamber (CChC), housing minister Cristián Monckeberg said that his office has had to change its outlook, since “we have to generate not only access to housing, but access to the city too, with all that it implies.”

He added that the government also planned to “recover” important neighborhoods in the capital and that public-private partnerships would be key to this strategy.

“Personally and for the government [The PPP model] is highly important to carry out planned developments,” he said.

In this regard, BNamericas spoke with Michael Rose (pictured above), chairman of think tank Committee for Sydney, who said that the key to Sydney’s urban planning success is “integrated planning, making sure that all levels of government [national, local, etc.] are working together on the plan and then making sure that different parts of government, like transport, housing, health, are all working together.”

According to the expert, good urban planning guarantees not only mobility, but also access to jobs and public services.

Talking about Sydney, he said that the city has experienced unequal development across its districts, as has been the case in Santiago, and that one of the main aims of urban planning carried out by the Committee for Sydney is to ensure that workers across the city only take 30 minutes to reach their jobs or to access services.

When asked about the role of private investors in overhauling urban landscapes, Rose told BNamericas that “you have to have a balance between private and public investment. There are some things that the private sector can’t or won’t do and that needs the government’s help.”

He also compared the Sydney with Santiago in terms of the large levels of immigration that both cities have received in the last decade, pointing out that foreign-born migrants make up 39{49a7e38090d84b81a7ba1bb67cd1b3b0d9cda4ef54936562ea834556eae8bfc9} of the Australian city’s population.

In Greater Santiago, migrants only make up 4.4{49a7e38090d84b81a7ba1bb67cd1b3b0d9cda4ef54936562ea834556eae8bfc9} of the population, but in the Santiago Centro district of the city that figure is some 28{49a7e38090d84b81a7ba1bb67cd1b3b0d9cda4ef54936562ea834556eae8bfc9}, while in adjacent Independencia it is 30{49a7e38090d84b81a7ba1bb67cd1b3b0d9cda4ef54936562ea834556eae8bfc9}.

In this regard, Rose said that this demographic change is an opportunity for Santiago, as Sydney had a positive experience when integrating migrants into its urban planning as “creates an opportunity to break some old habits.”

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