With almost half of the world’s wealth owned by 1% of the population, the spatial and physical effects of this inequality are becoming more pronounced in the world’s cities, and mitigating this polarization of society is an increasingly pressing issue. A new project led by the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, in collaboration with Architects without Borders and Emergency Architecture & Human Rights.DK, is addressing this issue in Chile, with a development project proposal for Santiago’s largest unofficial settlement.
“Polarization of society is a global problem and this project presents a unique solution that could be applied in many places,” explains Borys Wrzeszcz, a Polish architect who started the project after returning from an exchange program in Chile. “The idea is to keep the entire existing urban structure, fulfilling the inhabitants basic needs by providing water, electricity and the possibility to build multistory structures - and to do all this in the cheapest way and be fully compatible with inhabitants’ wishes and without any damage to existing green spaces.”
Wrzeszcz is joined by Chilean architect Jorge Lobos and Katrine Lotz, the Institute Leader of the Department for Architecture, Urbanism & Societal Change at the Royal Danish Academy. Watch the short film above to learn more about the group’s “Polarization of Chilean Society Prevention Project.”