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Chile is known for its strong geography; the Andes Mountains run from Alaska to Patagonia, along the entire length of Chile, and in Santiago, besides their stunning view and ubiquitous presence, is responsible for one of the most benign climates one could want for a city.
But Chile also has, despite sustained economic growth in the last decades, one of the most embarrassing levels of inequality in the region that is creating a very tense social climate. These inequalities are brutally expressed in the city, where neighbours with first world living standards are segregated from poor neighbourhoods.

In view of this reality, the question arises: can relevant features like geography and weather contribute to the correction of our social inequalities? And if so, how?

Here Alejandro Aravena presents a long run project: The Metropolitan Promenade: the adaptation of an old channel that surrounds Santiago’s main environmental asset: the Metropolitan Park, located in the San Cristobal mountain range. In a country as unequal as Chile the development of green areas could in a way be seen as a sort of a redistributive tool, as a form of compensation to those who have no access to a quality life style. The ground we are standing on, if well designed, could become a more efficient resource than money for the improvement of the quality of life.

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ALEJANDRO ARAVENA | ELEMENTAL

was born in Santiago, Chile in 1967. He is an Architect from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and he had postgraduate studies form the Università IUAV di Venezia and Etching studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia. He teaches at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile since 1994 and he taught at GSD of Harvard University from 2000 to 2005. He is a jury member of the International Pritzker and Fellow Award at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). He received the Silver Lion Award at the 11th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia among other international awards. He is currently the Executive Director at Elemental S.A.

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