Utopia, pragmatism and social housing: From 'workers housing' to 'workers and families orchards' in Santiago, 1900-1960

The consolidation of popular housing programs in Chile in the first half of the 20th century must be understood under the dynamics of the political dispute and the configuration of the urban space, which respond to alliances between the working sectors and the State. In this paper, we analyze how this trajectory is mediated by utopian projective perspectives by both agents, until they reach the workers' orchards as a concrete materialization of those abstract utopias. Official documents and publications of the main managers of the production experiences of a specific urban space, Santiago in the first half of the 20th century, were reviewed. Emphasis was placed on what went beyond mere housing action, problematizing not only the right to housing, but how that right should be materialized. The utopian question, as a horizon of possibility, allows us to argue that the popular housing projects managed to be permeated by alternative ways of inhabiting the city.

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