We understand the Right to the City as the urban exercise of two democratic values reinforced reciprocally: equal opportunities and political freedom. The first one is necessary for everyone to conceive and carry out their life project in a community. The second one enables to influence the generation of necessary conditions for cooperation by citizens as equals. To do so, effective mechanisms of citizen involvement are necessary. In Chile, this ideal contrasts with the political and economic centralization of the high-impact policies design in the city and its inhabitants’ welfare. The adaptation analysis of a public-private contractualization instrument in three different contexts – interurban, urban and public transport highways – shows how public sector’s dependence on its private counterparts operates for the benefit of its investment profitability. This has resulted in detriment to citizen’s wellbeing, ongoing civil criticism to this governance manner and a growing popular opposition to local high-impact project implementation. In this context, the early and binding implementation of citizen participation mechanisms becomes essential to acknowledge as well as integrate citizenship as a collaborative participant in the process of designing public policies. In the end, the generation of local democratic regulation capacities of urban projects is a necessary requirement for the effective Right to the City.
Como citar: Garretón, M. (2014). Derecho a la ciudad y participación frente al centralismo en Chile. Revista 180, 34, 4-9.