Neoliberalism of disaster and long-term recovery: The case of the 2010 earthquake in Talcahuano, Chile

International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction

Juan Saavedra (a); Gabriela Azócar de la Cruz (b); Patricia Fernández-Vicente (c)

Received 23 September 2020, Revised 10 May 2021, Accepted 22 May 2021, Available online 29 May 2021.


In this article, it was analyzed the long-term disaster recovery after the earthquake and tsunami that affected Talcahuano, Chile in February 2010. Under the assumption that disaster governance is neither politically nor discursively neuter, the aim of this article is to describe the long-term recovery process of Talcahuano, where urban planning was adjusted to the political neoliberal frame. We used a unique-case study. There were considered 7 maps that show longitudinally the changes in Talcahuano’s city design. There are maps about tsunami risk zones and landslide risk zones. Additionally, there were used 25 interviews to complement the recovery process. The results show that Talcahuano experienced post disaster changes in urban planning in line with neoliberal politics. The changes can be seen in the enlargement of commercial and residential zones. In some cases, the new building zones overlap in potentially risky zones of coastline and hills. The conclusions of the study show there is a recovery in terms of rebuilding and the organization of its local governance in emergency responses. Nevertheless, it was not able to avoid the general frame given by neoliberal regime. For more than a decade, the post-disaster recovery process favors the market growth and partially omit the local community participation in decision-making about the city design. The study case about 2010 earthquake in Talcahuano, Chile, contributes to observe long-term recovery as complex processes where the political regime aspects should be included in the analysis.

Keywords: Long-term recover; Neoliberalism; Community; Emergency government; Urban design.

(a) Department of Social Sciences, Universidad del Bío-Bío, Av. Collao 1202, Concepción, Chile.

(b) Department of Social Work, Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Almirante Barroso 10, Santiago, Chile.

(c) Independent Professional, Postgraduate (Master) Interdisciplinary Social Intervention, Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Santiago, Chile.

Deja una respuesta

Introduce tus datos o haz clic en un icono para iniciar sesión:

Logo de

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Salir /  Cambiar )

Imagen de Twitter

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Twitter. Salir /  Cambiar )

Foto de Facebook

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Facebook. Salir /  Cambiar )

Conectando a %s

Blog de

Subir ↑

A %d blogueros les gusta esto: