A city’s green areas – and the right to them: the case of Valparaíso, Chile

  • Nis Aamand Hejlskov Sørensen
Keywords: Right to the city, urban commons, urban conservation, social movement framing.

Abstract

This article contributes to the understanding of the capacity of local communitiesto slow down market-driven urbanisation. It employs the idea of theright to the city, which is understood as a collective right to shaping powerover the urban development. It is also a right to rethink our relationship tothe city and its landscape. Thus, the right to the city is about defending the cityfrom gentrification but also a right to imagine a city with more urban andgreen commons. The article presents a case-study from Chile, where local citizensare fighting the gentrification of a historic neighbourhood in Valparaíso.By framing private owned green areas as urban commons, the citizens challengethe current urban development in Chile. The case shows how the struggleto preserve the natural and cultural heritage locally is connected to a stronglocal identity and an appreciation of the value of the urban landscape. We canlearn from the Chilean case that it is possible to slow down gentrification of thecity when a broad political consensus about protecting green areas as urbancommons is established among citizens and local politicians.

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Published
2020-05-28