Claudio Orrego: «Metropolitan challenges cannot be solved at the national nor local level»

By  | 2023

7.3 million people live in the metropolitan area of Santiago de Chile — the largest in the country, the 6th in South America and the 59th in the world. A metropolitan area that only since July 2021 has had a Metropolitan Governor: Claudio Orrego. «We are building, as we speak, the institutionality to govern a metropolitan area made up of 52 different mayors and municipalities», he tells us in our interview with him for CitiesToBe.

Indeed, «fragmentation» is for him one of the biggest challenges facing the metropolitan area of which he is the highest authority, along with inequality and the scourge of climate change. They are, in his opinion, challenges shared with the vast majority of metropolitan areas on the planet, which exceed the action capacity of municipalities and, at the same time, require more specific and contextualized approaches than those that can be provided by the country-scale: «Metropolitan challenges are inter-municipal by definition: they cannot be solved either at the national level nor at the municipal level», he adds.

«How do you promote environmental sustainability, sustainable mobility, equitable housing, more productivity, in a region where there is more than one boss?» Orrego wonders. Within the challenging governance framework metropolitan areas face, two models emerge as the main paths to follow. «One is the associative model — different municipalities coming together to address problems —, and the other is the second-tier inter-municipal authority model, like London, Istanbul or Santiago do.» After all, all the metropolitan entities share the same objective: to contribute to find common solutions to common challenges. And, in this regard, Santiago will have a lot to share with other cities in the world as this new stage in its metropolitan management progresses.

Interview, text and edition by Sergio García i Rodríguez,
Head of Communication at Anteverti & CitiesToBe Executive Editor, and Tatiane Martins, consultant at Anteverti.

Video by Eloy Calvo

🗣️ «Metropolitan challenges are inter-municipal by definition: they cannot be solved either at the national level nor at the municipal level.» #CitiesToBe interviews @Orrego, Governor of the Metropolitan Region of #SantiagodeChile | by @Anteverti Clic para tuitear



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About the authors

Governor at Metropolitan Region of Santiago de Chile | + posts

Claudio Orrego is a lawyer from the Catholic University of Chile and hold a MPP at Harvard University. In 2000 he became biminister of the Ministry of Housing and National Assets. He was the mayor of Peñalolén (2004–2012) and Intendant of the Metropolitan Region (2014-2018). In 2021 he was elected the first Governor of the Metropolitan Region.

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