words@bld50 monthly talks


Going Underground in Santiago: March 6, 2008

Going Underground in Santiago
Presented by Beatriz C. Maturana (B.Arch M.Urb.Des. PhD candidate University of Melbourne)

The city of Santiago has undergone incessant transformation in the last twenty years. However, perhaps the most noticeable and unexpected change has been its surrounding geography. The magnificent mountains, the Andes that until only fifteen years ago were perpetually covered in snow and ice cap glaciers, lay bare in today’s summers as a reminder of our recklessness.

While many of the urban transformations follow on a relatively stable trajectory of modernisation and improvement of the social conditions, this course was interrupted during the period of the Pinochet’s dictatorship. The dictatorship’s rejection of urban planning, in favour of the ideology of the ‘free market’ and left a damaging legacy of urban sprawl and inequity. This has presented a challenge to the governments of the last twenty years. In redressing the urban ills, these governments claim that they have placed society, culture and sustainable ‘quality of life’ above all other concerns.
This presentation will show some projects that illustrate how Santiago deals with the issue of densification and pedestrianisation of the city. The three projects are the extension of the Metro lines, the new library in the Faculty of Architecture (PUC), and the Centro Cultural Palacio de La Moneda. The presentation is based on a series of observations collected over three weeks of 'walking the city'.

About Beatriz C. Maturana (B.Arch M.Urb.Des.)
Architects for Peace president and founder
Beatriz was born in Santiago, Chile and she left for Australia in the mid eighties. She completed her architectural degree at RMIT, Australia in 1992 and a Masters of Urban Design at the University of Melbourne where she is currently a PhD candidate focusing on architectural education. She runs her own practice and teaches at RMIT and the University of Melbourne. Beatriz founded Architects for Peace in 2003 in response to the silence around the unjustifiable war on Iraq.

(Click on image to download the poster)

see powerpoint:

Thursday March 6, 7pm, RMIT bldg 50 (entry: gold coin donation)

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