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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2010): Community regeneration and development - overseas

The lost community? Public housing and social capital in Santiago de Chile, 1985-2001

M. Tironi

International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, vol.33, 2009, p. 974-997

Chile has achieved a massive reduction in material poverty since 1990, in part through a programme of state-subsidized housing construction that has almost eliminated slums, especially in Santiago. Sceptics assert that this improvement in material conditions has been accompanied by a decline in community cohesion in poor neighbourhoods. This article challenges this assertion, using data from a 1985 survey conducted in poblaciones (i.e. public housing dating from the 1960s) and a 2001 survey conducted in newly built public housing or villas. These surveys suggest that villas score higher than poblaciones on most indicators of social capital measured.

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