Urban Systems of Accumulation: Half a Century of Chilean Neoliberal Urban Policies

Urban Systems of Accumulation: Half a Century of Chilean Neoliberal Urban Policies
AuthorPablo Navarrete, Fernando Toro
Line(s)Sociospatial Dynamics
Year of Publication2019
Journal TitleAntipode
Keywordssystems of urban accumulation, accumulation by dispossession, creative destruction, neoliberal urban policy, Santiago de Chile
AbstractWe analyse a half‐century of Chilean urban reforms to explain the introduction of a system of urban accumulation by dispossession of public resources and opportunities. Three stages have been conceptualised in the imposition of a neoliberal creative‐destructive process: proto‐neoliberalism, roll‐back and roll‐out periods. Empirical studies have traditionally analysed this process by examining a single urban policy’s evolution over time. In this paper, we go beyond these types of studies by performing a systemic analysis of multiple urban policy reforms in Santiago, Chile. We use a genealogical thematic analysis to track changes in laws, government programmes and planning documents from between 1952 and 2014. Our analysis identifies different “urban systems of accumulation” by looking at the interplay of four urban policies: (1) urban planning deregulation; (2) social housing privatisation; (3) devolution of territorial taxes; and (4) decreased public service provision. Moreover, our multidimensional policy analysis in Santiago characterises a more radical, fourth expression in the creative destruction process of “accumulation by dismantling”. Consequently, we advocate for more multidimensional urban policy research that goes beyond a three‐period analysis in order to gain a deeper understanding of contemporary neoliberal creative‐destructive processes in variegated geographies.
Corresponding AuthorPablo Navarrete pablo.navarrete@uc.cl