A. Kindler1, G. Azocar2, C. Vega2

1 - Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany

2 - EULA-Chile, Concepcion, Chile


Since the beginning of the 1990ies Chile has undergone huge transformations, particularly in the areas of economics, politics, culture, and socio-demographics due to the transition from the military dictatorship to the neo-liberal market economy.

On the example of the metropolitan area of Concepción consisting of the five townships Concepción, Talcahuano, Penco, Chiguayante, and San Pedro de La Paz, and with about 770000 inhabitants the consequences of these transformation processes should be investigated. Based on the population and housing censuses of 1992 and 2002, information on land use, natural risks, and environmental conditions the magnitude, complexity, and dynamic of economic, social, and ecological development processes, their mutual influences, and their impact on the social conditions, the quality of life of the population, and the territorial development over a decade were analysed. The study focused on identifying socio-spatial differentiation and segregation processes, their causal factors, spatial and temporal changes by analysing social, urban, and environmental variables, including land use/cover, amenities, services, green areas, and natural spaces. The state and the changes of relevant variables were analysed and represented in thematic maps. The spatial base was the administrative division of the metropolitan area of Concepción into five townships and 72 census districts. The combined analysis of data and the interpretation of maps allowed statements about development tendencies on three spatial levels: the whole agglomeration, the five townships and the 72 census districts.

The atlas was created for different users like urban and regional planners, sociologists, geographers, urbanists, potential investors and others. It is not only an instrument of scientific analysis and evaluation but also an important tool for monitoring and planning of urban agglomerations towards a sustainable urban development. The information generated will also be useful as a basis for comparison with other urban regions, especially for identifying the same or similar characteristics, common elements, and differences in the development.

It is the first social and environmental atlas for a Chilean agglomeration. The atlas consists of two parts: a text with about 185 pages and a map part with 64 thematic maps published in Spanish and English.

The atlas is a result of the scientific-technological co-operation between the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Germany, and the EULA-Chile, the Centre for Environmental Sciences, University of Concepción, Chile. The project was founded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Chilean National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT).