Planning Latin American Cities: Housing and Citizenship
edited by Clara Irazabal and Tom Angotti
After the 1973 coup in Chile, the Pinochet dictatorship, aided by advisers from the United States, became a proving ground for neoliberal reforms in Latin America. Its efforts to minimize the public role and maximize private initiative have strongly influenced social housing programs in other countries in the region. In effect, Chile’s housing reforms were recognized as best practices. The massive social housing program it launched in the early 1990s has been emulated throughout the Americas, most notably in Brazil’s Minha Casa, Minha Vida program. Following its developer-driven and neoliberal approach to housing, Chile produced a significant volume of new housing units. However, from the larger vantage point of community development and citizenship rights, the new housing has been deficient. It has generated new urban ghettos and peripheral neighborhoods and contributed to suburban expansion, auto dependency, unevenness in the provision of services, and a new form of poverty.