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Metamorphosis of the Quality of Urban Life: a Process of Synergy. Pericentral Areas of Santiago of Chile

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  • Ecology
  • Geography


"The change in the strategies of territorial ocupation of the pericentral Lone of Santiago, where the market is nowadays the main agent of resource allocation, has transformed the preexisting use dynamics and has produced a negative impact on the quality of life of the residential habitat, a reality still not fully understood within our context of local planning. We detect the presence of strong changes that refeict this deterioration: environmental unbalances in the public and private space; excessive proliferation of commercial and services activities to the detriment of others, specially housing; loss of cornplemeritarity in the use of the public space and low degree of integration between the different activities and users; changes of scale in the occupation of the territory of the new uses -excessive size, extension and frequency- produce an inordinate demand to the public space, since it is not adapted to the new conditions of social use; the residential growth of the urban peripl1ey with depopulation of the center of the town results in serious urban dysfunctions at the global city level. I he trar)5+ormation of the habitat quality of life could be interpreted in the same way from the meaning of metamorphosis' visualizing it as a whole, resulting from factors and variables associated to the different urban uses, at conditions of dynamic equilibrium, evolving as a synergic process toward successive degrees o4- a more stable organization. The key hypothesis consists in that the quality of the residential habitat is the outcome of the balance among uses associated to a given site (street, block, sector) in which the different forces interact conferring a new quality to the whole of the public space : higher organization and greater social heterogeneity, functional and physical, which will bear upon a better quality of life of the dweller. To achieve some stability in the major levels of organization and integration, two conditions must be fulfilled: The sufficient separation and identity of the different agents of the process functional, social and physical- and the sufficient connections among them to allow the constant input of "energy = transforming capacity' producing a process of constant adjustment which must reduce the +riction of divergent interests, an indispensable condition to assure the quality of life of the habitat."

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