Cities Alliance Programme Manager William Cobbett met with Minister of Housing and Urban Development Patricia Poblete during a visit to Santiago, Chile last week.
During their meeting, Mr. Cobbett noted that there had been significant changes since his last visit to Chile in 2007, primarily due to an slum upgrading programme initiated by the Chilean government that resulted in the recovery of 200 neighbourhoods.
Mr. Cobbett praised the innovative programme, particularly the Chilean government’s efforts to reach out to slum dwellers and promote dialogue among communities.
“Internationally, this is an extremely rare example of the Government formulating a strategy to explicitly reach out and promote a new dialogue with, and between, communities that had previously been excluded,” Mr. Cobbett said in a Spanish-language article posted on the Ministry’s website.
“The role of national and local governments, in this context, will be critical in integrating these barrios, and their residents, into the mainstream of their respective cities, and this society.”
He also praised Ms. Poblete’s implementation of the programme and welcomed the decision to incorporate lessons learned into a national policy.
“Minister Poblete has shown immense vision and leadership in focusing not only on the physical conditions and isolation of these neighbourhoods—many of which have become ghettoes—but also on the need to recognise the citizenship of these residents, and actively promote their rights to the city,” Mr. Cobbett said.
“In this context, I was also extremely encouraged to hear of the Government’s intention to take the lessons from the 200 barrios programme, and use this experience and these lessons to formulate a national policy.”
Finally, Mr. Cobbett noted that the programme would help provoke a citywide and national debate on the issues of social inclusion, citizenship and poverty reduction.
As part of the programme, the Ministry also generated an inventory of occupational profiles, called “Catalogo de Perfiles Ocupacionales para el Programa de Recuperacion de Barrios del MINVU.” The report was produced with the support of MINVU, GTZ and the Cities Alliance.
Read the Spanish-language article on the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MINVU) website.
Read the Catalogo de Perfiles Ocupacionales para el Programa de Recuperacion de Barrios del MINVU (Spanish only, 918 kb pdf)