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Measuring the impact on well-being and health of dwelling and environmental regeneration in Chile

image of urban housing in Chile

Project Summary

Housing quality can have important beneficial effects on the quality of life of residents. In Chile, the government is implementing a variety of housing interventions designed to improve the quality of housing as well as conditions in surrounding neighborhoods. However, direct evidence of the health impact of these types of interventions is often lacking. 

A team of researchers from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile will work with local partners to evaluate the impacts of the Regeneration of Housing Complexes Program (Programa de Regeneración de Conjuntos Habitacionales), recently launched by the Chilean Ministry of Housing and Urbanism. The program includes housing rehabilitation of low-income neighborhoods where social housing programs are located.  Interventions encompass upgrades to existing housing units, as well as the construction of new units. It also includes transformations to the neighborhood built environment, such as the creation of green spaces and recreation facilities, the repaving of streets and sidewalks, and the creation of new bus stops, and urban gardens. The research team will study the impact of these interventions on general health, respiratory conditions and mental health.  The study will collect data via repeat assessments over time on a sample of residents living in intervention neighborhoods in order to evaluate changes that occur in response to interventions. Systematic social observation and qualitative interviews will be used to complement quantitative analyses. 

Project findings will help determine whether these housing interventions have health impacts and provide policymakers with valuable information on how they can leverage these types of policies to improve health. 

Research Team

Alejandra Vives Vergara, Public Health Department, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
Andrea Cortínez, Public Health Department, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
Flavia Angelini, Public Health Department, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
Francisca González, Public Health Department, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
Fernando Baeza, Public Health Department, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
Cristian Schmitt, School of Architecture, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile


The SALURBAL (Salud Urbana en América Latina, or “Urban Health in Latin America”) project is implementing this evaluation with support from the Wellcome Trust [205177/Z/16/Z].