HOUSING AND RECONSTRUCTION IN CHILE (2010-2012): Institutional and social transformation in post-disaster contexts

Camila Cocina Varas, Camillo Boano

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26687/archnet-ijar.v7i3.49


Stemming from the assumption that disasters present unique conditions to rethink the associations and relationships among different actors, while acknowledging post disaster reconstruction as a political process that may generate momentum for institutional transformation; this article discusses the institutional responses to housing in such a transformative moment. Grounding the empirical terrain into the 2010 Chilean earthquake, the article is concerned with how the institutional response to housing needs has been influenced by the neoliberal context and civil society in the aftermath of the event. Its objective is to review the changes in housing policy over this period, and to what extent these changes are proposing a new social order, or consolidating the existing one; to what extent civil society claims can challenge contexts of exclusion; and to what extent the actors’ roles change or remain static. To do so, it develops a series of criteria to apply to the reconstruction process and housing policy transformation that took place after the earthquake. The main findings show that the institutional responses have promoted the consolidation of a model rather than a transformative process. By contrast, social organisations have embraced elements of transformation towards collective capability strengthening that are not necessarily recognised by formal institutions.


housing policy; reconstruction; Chile; institutional transformation; right to the city; neoliberalism

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