Changing Historical Urban Landscapes and Political Landscapes in Valparaíso, Chile

Authors: Madeline LoFaso*, SUNY - Geneseo
Topics: Urban Geography, Latin America, Political Geography
Keywords: historical urban development, urban landscapes, political landscapes, heritage led development
Session Type: Guided Poster
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 2:35 PM / 4:15 PM
Room: Roosevelt 3.5, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The city of Valparaíso is located centrally on the Chilean coast line, and is geographically divided between a bay and a series of 42 hills rising up to the coast line. This one of a kind urban landscape is prized by the city’s inhabitants, demonstrating a strong cultural bond between citizens and their beloved urban landscape. Nominated as a World Heritage in 2003, clear efforts have been made by both the Chilean government and the municipal government of Valparaíso to preserve the city’s historical urban landscape and promote tourism. Although a popular tourist destination, Valparaíso’s suffering economy never quite recovered from the construction of the Panama Canal, along with other factors that have drastically transformed the once thriving port city. Within recent years in efforts to revitalize the economy, several large- scale development projects have been proposed and carried out by both public and private interests. In turn, these projects have sparked a wave of social movements that have denounced city development plans in the name of preserving the historical landscape and defending the well-being of inhabitants. As grass-roots people’s movements quickly gained momentum and influence, the municipal government of Valparaíso saw an unprecedented shift in voting patterns. This shift is exemplified in the 2016 mayoral elections with the election of an independent candidate running in the name of the people’s movements. This research examines the complexity of the cross-discipline analysis of urban planning and political science in efforts to demonstrate a relationship between changing urban and political landscapes.

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