IDB supports the revitalisation of neighbourhoods in Chile
Chile will revitalise poor neighbourhoods and emblematic infrastructure assets with a US$90 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The loan is designed to improve the living conditions and environment of residents of poor neighbourhoods, inject value into their real estate assets, increase commercial and cultural activities and boost the residents’ participation in the effort, in order to guarantee that the activities are sustainable.
The project will finance coordinated activities in at least five municipalities, including improvements in physical infrastructure, support for local economic and cultural development and provision of resources that will enable the effective participation of residents. “As it starts to think about coordinating activities at the neighbourhood level but led by municipalities, Chile faces a great challenge,” said Veronica Adler, IDB project team leader. “This programme is an excellent opportunity to show that with adequate management, it is possible to make cities more egalitarian and equitable.” The programme will provide resources to improve selected real estate assets; build, restore or improve urban environments; restore and improve avenues, streets, plazas, footpaths, sidewalks and bike lanes; and improve urban furnishings, lighting and landscapes. The loan will help promote economic and cultural development through studies to identify the specific needs of the businesses operating in each neighbourhood as well as opportunities for new economic and cultural undertakings, including the creation and promotion of economic opportunities for women. “This programme will seek to take advantage of the existing capital, to respect the tangible and intangible assets and to have an impact on the poor outer sections of urban areas,” added Adler. It will also implement plans to improve the competitiveness of existing business activities, through the development of innovative strategies to diversify and improve the profiles of local economic and cultural initiatives. The project also includes the installation of a project office in each neighbourhood, the design and implementation of a plan to communicate and disseminate reports on the activities, and a fund for grants to community initiatives that address various neighbourhood problems.
by Andrew Bates
Photo: Luis Penados