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A sustainable, healthy Praderas New Community with innovative social housing


Urban Planning  /  Completed
Praderas is part of an emerging urban area in western Santiago where planning authorities are directing urban growth with coordinated investments in mobility infrastructure. In the long-term future, city planners expect that 250,000 new homes and over 1,400 hectares of development in new productive and employment uses will transform the metropolitan dynamics of Santiago. Affordable housing is a critical driver of this urban expansion program, which focuses on creating income-integrated communities.

Praderas strives to create a new paradigm in urban development in Chile and Latin America. While new communities in the region are typically single-use, gated and socially segregated, Praderas establishes a new model of integrated living. The larger natural setting of the site, combined with strategies around sustainable infrastructure, responds to air flow, sunlight and water conservation all support a healthy built environment.

The basis of the Praderas vision takes advantage of its location at the terminus of a new transit line to create development opportunities for both residential and employment uses, creating a truly mixed-use, holistic district. A fine grain integration of social housing (over 40% of total units) is a notable achievement of the urban design plan. Social integration and equitable access to amenities underpins the new community, with a compact and transit focused urban environment that promotes walking and wellbeing.

Its setting in the western Gateway of Santiago, in an expansive valley framed by mountains, provides remarkable access to the surrounding natural context. A bold landscape framework provides a deep sense of connection to nature, protecting and regenerating the local ecology and fostering stewardship of the environment. Unlike other affordable neighborhoods in Santiago, Praderas offers ample access to open space and recreation (3x more than the most affluent and verdant district in the city.) The urban design framework is driven by four goals that promote health and wellness, and carefully integrate the natural and built environment towards a balanced relationship between living, working and community life.

A Sustainable, Healthy Community
Praderas will be a leader in promoting a landscape approach that addresses many of the drivers for a resilient, healthy built environment. The network of parks, public spaces and other open space systems give relief to the density of various neighborhoods. The provision of bike lanes, walking/jogging trails, mobility choices and an armature of streets and paths provide ample connectivity to community amenities and the surrounding landscape.

Innovative Social Housing Typologies
Social housing in Latin America is typically characterized by a “cookie-cutter” design approach, with endless repetition of identical, detached units and little access to social infrastructure and public space. The design of these homes tend to be rigid and limiting to post-occupancy interventions that accommodate different living arrangements. In Praderas, the team created a diverse range of units that are compact, yet livable, allowing for a greater allocation of space for public uses and amenities. They are also designed with the deliberate intention of supporting incremental growth in living areas and customization. Integrated sustainability strategies at the house level make the units highly energy and water efficient, underpinning the low-impact development ethos of the overall community.

Habitat Recovery
Deforestation and surface runoff have degraded the ravine corridors that characterize the area. Strategic grading interventions promote nutrient recovery and are essential to regenerate the site’s ecology. An existing on-site nursery and hillside reforestation efforts serve as a planting knowledge hub for both Praderas and greater Santiago.

Optimizing Water
The impact of climate change represents a critical challenge for Santiago, particularly as it grapples with severe reductions in rainfall and more frequent storm events. Landscape spaces and corridors in Praderas are structured to receive, treat and detain water to support vegetation growth and prevent flooding. Together, they form an interconnected landscape system of urban green fingers and parks that integrate resilient, water sensitive strategies for a changing climate.

This new urban paradigm was created by a truly integrated, multidisciplinary design process. This allowed the team to introduce a comprehensive set of sustainability strategies across scales, from district and household energy generation to mobility access and resiliency initiatives that set Praderas apart in Latin America and beyond.


 3500000 mq
 Dennis Pieprz, Pablo Savid-Buteler, Victor Eskinazi, Vee Petchthevee, Theodor Stojani, Lin Ye, Chetan Kulkarni, Boxiang Yu, Hyungho Joo, Ken Goulding, Julián Osorio.


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