This paper aims to ascertain that Latin America's current urban growth through large and organized 'land squattings'
and limited invasions is a massive, plural and common phenomenon which, to a certain extent, has been, up to now,
ignored by 'the academic world and by formal urban planning.
On July 5, 1999, 10,000 organized individuals occupied a 23.45 ha. plot at Peñalolén, in Santiago de Chile.
The event had great impact and received much attention, and the author closely followed the events that led to the
consolidation of the 'settlement' (1999-2006) through phases of negotiation, evacuation and relocation of its settlers,
and finally to the current (2008) transformation stage which the plot is undergoing in order to become 'Peñalolén's
This paper emphasizes the main paradigms that can be drawn from the different occupation stages, with special
focus on peculiarities found at 'Peñalolén Settlement' compared to other Latin American 'squattings', in an attempt to
systematize and draw conclusions on 'self-development urbanism'.
Keywords : Self-Development Urbanism; Informal City; Land Squatting; Evacuations; Latin America.
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