Secondary Cities and Their Development Challenges: The Case of Central Chile Macro Region

jose tomas videla, Brian Roberts, M allue

    Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    The performance of national and regional economies is dependent on a wellfunctioning system of secondary cities, but they face many development challenges and still receive proportionally lower levels of investment than primary cities. The case study of the Santiago and Central Chile Macro Region (SCCMR) provides interesting insights into a particular spatial typology of secondary cities, the metropolitan cluster, in a middle-income growing regional economy. Fresh thinking by all levels of government and stakeholders in the SCCMR is necessary to identify and formulate policies to address this macro region’s challenges and to support the development of its secondary cities. However, it is still unclear what the spatial structure and functions of this macro region are, and what type of governance arrangement is required. This short paper aims to discuss two general questions in relation to the above: i) what is the main spatial structure of SCCMR? and, ii) is the current administrative arrangement appropriate to manage that spatial structure? To answer these questions, we briefly review some recent and empirical approaches for defining spatial structures based on functional economic units (FEUs), as proposed by the OECD. We then compare that with the actual administrative areas, including also a recent official proposal for creating a metropolitan governance scheme. The FEUs approach shows that the spatial structure of the SCCMR is a combination of three metropolitan systems of cities, led by Santiago. This conclusion needs to be discussed further due to a lack of updated Travel-To-Work (TTW) flow data. Moreover, a more comprehensive system approach should be used to assess the macro region spatial integration, including employment, housing, infrastructure, social service and industry. We conclude this short paper with a critical assessment of the SCCMR governance arrangement and propose a fresh approach to address the governance of this important macro region.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number012047
    Pages (from-to)1-10
    Number of pages10
    JournalIOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2020


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