Skills and Expertise
Research Items (5)
- May 2017
Distributive politics and spatial equity: the allocation of public investment in Chile. Regional Studies. This paper analyzes the influence of electoral concerns on investment distribution from the central government to Chilean municipalities. Drawing upon panel data, it shows that investment is mediated by pork-barrel and political budget cycles, as well as favouring the relatively better-off areas. Estimations also reveal that resources are channelled to the municipalities where the vote margin in local elections is larger, whereas national results are not relevant, indicating that local governments’ lobbying capacity is prioritized over national electoral interests. Based on these results, the implications for regional governance and for reducing the margin of arbitrary allocations are discussed.
Efforts to promote infill development and to raise densities are growing in many cities around the world as a way to encourage urban sustainability. However, in cities polarized along socio-economic lines, the benefits of densification are not so evident. The aim of this paper is to discuss some of the contradictions of densification in Santiago de Chile, a city characterized by socio-spatial disparities. To that end, we first use regression analysis to explain differences in density rates within the city. The regression analysis shows that dwelling density depends on the distance from the city center, socioeconomic conditions, and the availability of urban attributes in the area. After understanding the density profile, we discuss the implications for travel and the distribution of social infrastructures and the environmental services provided by green areas. While, at the metropolitan scale, densification may favor a more sustainable travel pattern, it should be achieved by balancing density rates and addressing spatial differences in the provision of social services and environmental amenities. We believe a metropolitan approach is essential to correct these spatial imbalances and to promote a more sustainable and socially cohesive growth pattern.
- Jan 2013
The literature on the relationship between the built environment and travel has identified population density and the mix of land uses as key characteristics of the urban form that affect travel patterns. However, in cities with strong sociospatial disparities it is not clear if these characteristics apply in the same way. In this paper we use regression analysis to estimate the influence of the spatial growth pattern of Santiago, Chile, on the environmental impact of commuting. Our findings can be summarized in three points: the travel impact increases as the city spreads out because of the monocentric nature of Santiago; the environmental impact of commuting could be reduced by containing commuters within the area where they live; and the use of public transport reduces the impact, but the modal choice depends not only on the effectiveness of the transport system but also on the characteristics of the urban form and other socioeconomic determinants. Consequently, we propose to reorient the growth pattern in three ways: redirecting land use policy to promote development within the already built area, developing compact areas where residential and economic activities are mixed, and facing sociospatial disparities as a way to encourage the use of public transport. This would reduce the environmental impact of commuting while, at the same time, tackling sociospatial segregation.
Processes of neighborhood renewal and decline occur as cities evolve over time. Households’ and firms’ location decisions drive real estate market demand to particular areas, leading to periodical processes of change in neighborhoods’ socioeconomic status. The aim of this paper is to analyze the uneven effects of the spatial growth of Santiago de Chile over the different parts of the city. During the past two decades, the city has grown in demographic and spatial terms, spreading the built-up area. An important feature of Santiago's growth pattern is that the new investments were highly concentrated in some opportunity areas, while much of the city received no investment. The residential areas were developed in the periphery, driven by the real estate market dynamic but also by a housing policy that systematically located its new developments in peri-urban areas. By contrast, the new investments for industrial, financial and service activities were located in the city centre, in order for firms to attain agglomeration economies. Santiago, as well as other Latin American cities, is to a large extent monocentric, and firms’ localization dynamic reproduced the role of the CBD as the main economic node. In this paper, we use panel data analysis to estimate how the spatial growth pattern affected the different areas of the city. In particular, we analyze the impact of the urban growth on income, local funding capacity and the provision of public goods by the municipalities that make up the metropolitan area (the so called comunas). Our findings show that the metropolitan growth dynamic increased the gap between areas, reinforcing socio-spatial segregation in an already uneven city. The reason seems to be the investment/underinvestment cycle of the real estate market: the new investments cluster in some opportunity areas in order to obtain higher revenues; as a result, local income and local funding capacity rise and the provision of public goods within the comuna improves. This process makes future investments more profitable, reproducing the investment cycle in some areas, while other comunas are kept away from investment.