Lessons From An Emerging Economy, An Analysis Of Sunlight Use In Chilean Public Housing

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Nicole Beattie-Vallespir


Given the importance of sunlight on human health and how the built environment influences human interaction with sunlight, how can the design profession incorporate sunlight more robustly into public housing design projects? I try to answer this question by looking at the last thirty years of the Chilean public housing development. My methodological approach was divided into two parts. The first part focused in unraveling the historical precedents that led to the current public housing typology, so prevalent in Chilean public housing projects today. The second part consisted of fieldwork done along the length of the Chilean geography. Chile spans a North to South length of 4,270 km (2,653 mi) and has an average sunshine variation that more then doubles between the Northern most city of Arica compared to the Southern most city of Punta Arenas. Preliminary data from these two research approaches, reveal what steps can be taken in order to increase the relevance of sunlight in public housing design. On an urban scale, careful consideration of grid layout, location of green areas, sidewalks and transportation. On the housing scale, window location as it relates to issues of privacy, safety and accessibility, need careful consideration. 


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Beattie-Vallespir, N. (2017). Lessons From An Emerging Economy, An Analysis Of Sunlight Use In Chilean Public Housing. UPLanD - Journal of Urban Planning, Landscape & Environmental Design, 2(2), 53-64. https://doi.org/10.6092/2531-9906/5257


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