Orellana Ossandón, A., Bannen Lanata, P., Fuentes Arce, L., Gilabert Peralta, H., & Pape Casale, K. (2013). Huellas del proceso de metropolización en Chile. Revista INVI, 28(77), 17-66. Como citar este artículo
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doi 10.4067/S0718-83582013000100002

 

Traces of the metropolization process in Chile1

 

Arturo Maximiliano Orellana Ossandón2, Pedro BannenLanata3, Luis Alejandro Fuentes Arce4, Horacio Gilabert Peralta5, Karen Pape Casale6

2 Chile. Ph.D. in Human Geography, MA in Urban Development, Economist. Head of the Master’s Program, Institute of Urban and Territorial Studies, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.

3 Chile. Architect, MA in Urban Development. Director of the Institute of Urban and Territorial Studies, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.

4 Chile. Geographer, MA in Urban Development, Ph.D. in Architecture and Urban Studies. Professor, Institute of Urban and Territorial Studies, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.

5 Chile. Forest Engineer, MSc in Natural Resources Management, Ph.D. in Forest Resources. Professor, Faculty of Agronomy and Forest Engineering, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.

6 Chile. Architect, MA in Urban Development. Assistant researcher, Institute of Urban and Territorial Studies, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.


Abstract

This paper analyzes the changes in the urban quality of life within the main metropolitan areas of the country over the last decade: Greater Santiago, Greater Valparaíso and Greater Concepción. To this end, the Urban Quality of Life Index (UQLI) is applied to establish the possible patterns and trends that may shed light on the traces left by this metropolization process. Taking into account that two out of three people could live in the metropolitan areas of Chile during the next decade, and as a means to contribute to the construction of more cohesive, sustainable and competitive cities, this research aims to provide with guidelines on socio-territorial configuration to influential public and private sectors participating in the urban development.

KEYWORDS: METROPOLITAN AREAS; URBAN QUALITY OF LIFE; URBAN DEVELOPMENT


 

Introduction

Strong geographic concentration in urban areas is one of the main trends of the demographic development in Chile. The 2002 Census showed that more than 86% of Chilean population lived in urban areas and according to the preliminary findings of the 2012 Census this figure could rise to 90%. In addition, current Chilean population is rising to 16.5 million, out of which 45% live in three main metropolitan areas7; Greater Santiago, with 5.8 million; Greater Valparaíso, with 0.91 million; and Greater Concepción, with 0.96 million.

In the context of high levels of urbanization, quality of life emerges as the challenge of being an intrinsic condition to an urban development that promotes more competitive, socially cohesive and environmentally sustainable cities. We can observe an increasing number of situations within the local political and social agenda in which citizens and their organizations clash with the State or the private sector -or both- in a great number of projects that threaten the quality of life of people living in the main metropolitan areas.

According to Mattos8 “if we accept that the current urban metamorphosis is structurally determined by trends constituting the new dynamics of accumulation and growth, it is reasonable to anticipate that any urban transformation proposal seeking to promote radical changes within the current configuration of these cities, should necessarily consider a previous modification of such trends, since they have ultimately modeled the transition towards this new urban form. It will be shown in this paper that this new urban configuration is modeling Chilean metropolitan cities with significant degrees of inequity in terms of quality of life among the different municipalities that comprise them, especially in the metropolitan areas. Somehow, the thesis proposed by Veltz9 in which metropolitan areas tend to be alike at global scale and differ when compared internally, holds true.

Our metropolitan cities, as those of the rest of Latin America, do not have an institutional structure in charge of governing, planning and administering from an institutionalism, either appointed or elected, as in the case of other countries10. This means that the urban governance, planning and administration expressed in the different public policy actions is carried out at three political-administrative levels of government: national, regional and municipal11. Such a centralist and unitary government structure responds to what was established by the 1980 Constitution of the Republic of Chile, Chapter XIII, articles 99 to 115, including the corresponding further amendments. As a result, there are only two levels of government elected by citizens, national and municipal. In contrast the regional government, whose territories are the scenario for the metropolization process, is represented by both a governor appointed by the President of the Republic and a Regional Council, composed of members appointed by councilors, who, in turn, are elected every four years in municipal elections.

Thus, acknowledging that metropolitan areas do not have a de facto government, which is a trend that emerges as a challenge for urban development in coming years, the analysis of the evolution of quality of life within these areas over the last decade is essential to guide further public and private actions; such a purpose is the aim of this research.

 

Urban Quality of Life

Some research carried out by international entities such as the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the World Bank have related quality of life to the sense of happiness, satisfaction or welfare. However, given that these studies are focused only on subjectivity, the concept of quality of life turns into a complex subject due to the differences in perceptions among different individuals. In this regard, Fadda and Jirón12 point out that quality of life represents more than the level of private life or welfare of each individual, it refers to every single element of the conditions people live in, that is to say, their needs and satisfactions. These include multiple dimensions of quality of life, which makes it necessary to determine how we measure the extent to which the sufficient or insufficient amount of a (public or private) good or service affects the quality of life of people within the urban space.

To reinforce the aforementioned need to measure quality of life by using objective variables, it is enough to point out that UNESCO, by means of a report made by experts13, considered that the collection of quality of life data based on the counting, measurement and illustration of physical elements on the part of the researcher constitutes an objective form to measure and evaluate quality of life. Yet, the latter does not invalidate the contribution of studies on perception to know the country, city or community in which quality of life is an urgent demand for State policies.

Furthermore, a research carried out by the Inter-American Bank for Development (IABD)14, based on perception surveys conducted in 24 Latin American countries, is one of the most recent studies on quality of life. This research identified the diffuse depiction of reality as one of the constraints of these methodologies aimed at measuring quality of life, since they are influenced by cultural patterns and affected by expectations and aspirations that make them variable and sometimes undecipherable. In addition, these definitions are focused on assigning an exclusive role to the public sector as the guarantor of the satisfaction of these needs. However, within the current predominant development model in the world, many of these needs are satisfied by the private sector and even by the community itself through its participation in the construction and production of urban space.

In the light of this bibliographic review and the different problems to define urban quality of life from an operative perspective, this research sees urban quality of life as “the objective life conditions of the population generated by actions and dynamics of transformation of the urban space produced by public and private actors and civil society.” This statement explicitly recognizes that quality of life is not restricted to the actions of the public sector, but is the result of the intervention of different actors, including the private sector and civil society.

In addition, this research seeks to embrace the complex nature of this urban quality of life concept by acknowledging that the use of statistical information as preferential condition allows both a better representation of the needs of a population as a whole and the identification of favorable or unfavorable conditions. Likewise, in case an intertemporal analysis of quality of life in metropolitan areas is needed, the use of objective variables seems to be more suitable than the interpretation of studies on perception or opinion due to the difficulty of controlling the influence of cultural, aspiration or expectation factors.

 

Methodological Design

The Urban Quality of Life Index (UQLI)15 was used to compare the quality of life changes in the main metropolitan areas during the 2002-2012 period and geographical information systems were used to collate and decipher patterns and trends. The UQLI was developed by means of a comprehensive review of different indicators designed and applied by national and international entities devoted to quality of life issues; these include those built upon objective and subjective variables. The multidimensional nature of urban quality of life was established through the analysis of the methodology and findings of the Perception Survey on Urban Quality of Life (PSUQL)16, conducted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (MINVU), and international indicators such as the “Better Life Index”17, developed by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD, 2011); The Economist Intelligence Unit18, developed by The Economist; the Emerging Markets Index 2008, compiled by MasterCard19; and the "Quality of Living Ranking Highlights - Global 2011", developed by MERCER20. All these indicators are valuable instruments to know and compare the impacts on the urban environment and the effects on the quality of life of those who inhabit these areas.

The PSUQL is the only study at communal and metropolitan level available in the country; however, without detracting from its contribution from subjective studies, this survey does not clearly identify the sphere in which favorable or unfavorable conditions are related to public or private actions and neither provides the period of study. As for the international indicators, they are biased and cannot be applied to areas other than Greater Santiago, since the MasterCard and MERCER indicators are oriented towards issues related to the economic and business potential of cities. For this reason, the methodological option of this research was the design of an indicator based solely on objective variables, as it could provide policy makers with more accurate directions on how to guide future public and private investments. The aim is to correct inequality among municipalities and cities and promote development strategies in the integral sense of the term.

The UQLI was built upon the basis of thirty three variables chosen from a set that included more than a hundred possible variables. These were selected by using the expert knowledge of an interdisciplinary research team and considering four conditioning factors at communal scale: pertinence21, representation22, coverage23 and an update level not exceeding three years. The chosen variables were distributed among six recognizable quality of life spheres and adapted according to the revision of the aforementioned national and international indicators:

  • Work Status(WS), it refers to variables that measure the ease of access to the job market, income, training, professional development and social protection of residents.
  • Business Environment (BE), it refers to evident economic variables that make it possible to certify that the city or municipality is a favorable urban environment for private investment or personal business ventures.
  • Sociocultural Conditions (SC), it refers to the measurement of variables related to the participation level of the population in social organizations and the security and education levels that affect the generation of social capital.
  • Connectivity and Mobility(CM), it refers to the measurement of variables related to the connectivity, mobility and road safety infrastructural conditions of residents.
  • Health and Environment(HE), it refers to the measurement of the health conditions of the population in relation to diseases with strong correlation with environmental conditions and anthropogenic spaces.
  • Housing and Living Environment (HLE), it refers to variables related to the quality of housing, overcrowding levels and investment in the immediate public space of residents.
  • The Principal Component Analysis (PCA)24 was used to rank the different spheres and determine the UQLI per municipality and metropolitan city; in combination with expertise, a subset of variables was chosen (16 for the 2002 UQLI and 17 for the 2012 UQLI.) Then, these variables were standardized to a 0-100 scale in order to contrast values measured in different units and calculate comparable averages between areas and municipalities. This procedure was applied to 69 urban municipalities, which represented nearly 70% of the total population of the country, including all regional capitals or municipalities belonging to recognized or developing main metropolitan areas. In addition, this study applied weighting factors per area at both communal and metropolitan levels according to the findings of a survey of 50 qualified experts (57% from abroad and 43% from Chile) working in the fields of teaching, research and international consultancy in related matters. Table 1 shows these weighting factors per area derived from the two scales of territory.

     

    Table 1: Weighting of spheres of urban quality of life.

    Local Scale Weighting

    WS

    BE

    SC

    CM

    HE

    HLE

    9.4%

    16.4%

    17.4%

    9.1%

    18.5%

    29.1%

    Metropolitan Scale Weighting

    WS

    BE

    SC

    CM

    HE

    HLE

    9.7%

    17.1%

    17.2%

    9.7%

    18.8%

    27.6%

    Source: prepared by authors based on the Urban Quality of Life Index NEM-IEUT, 2012.

     

    Finally, the indicators of these six areas were weighted to obtain the corresponding UQLI score for every year for all of the analyzed municipalities. Thus, a UQLI ranked list and a classification by sphere were prepared for each metropolitan area; likewise, a corresponding mapping at communal level was also elaborated.

     

    2012 UQLI Results

    As for the 2012 results, Table 2 shows the urban municipalities with UQLI scores above the national average (42.8.) Seven out of the top ten urban municipalities that achieved higher UQLI scores belong to Greater Santiago, sorted from higher to lower, they are: Vitacura, Las Condes, Providencia, Santiago, Lo Barnechea, Ñuñoa and La Reina; these do not only hold the first seven places in this list, but are also located in the north-east area of Santiago. The top table is completed by Punta Arenas (ranked 8th), Concón (ranked 9th) and La Serena (ranked 10th.)

     

    Table 2: Municipalities with a 2012 UQLI Score above the National Average.

    PLACE

    MUNICIPALITY

    WS

    BE

    SC

    CM

    HE

    HLE

    UQLI

    1

    Vitacura

    67.4

    65.8

    86.8

    70.5

    95.9

    61.4

    74.5

    2

    Las Condes

    72.5

    60.2

    61.9

    88.5

    82.9

    72.3

    72.1

    3

    Providencia

    87.0

    45.9

    73.8

    87.2

    54.3

    76.2

    68.9

    4

    Santiago

    78.9

    57.8

    39.4

    31.5

    64.4

    94.1

    66.1

    5

    Lo Barnechea

    38.7

    42.6

    45.8

    82.4

    78.5

    77.9

    63.5

    6

    Ñuñoa

    53.6

    40.3

    50.7

    52.4

    72.5

    61.1

    56.6

    7

    La Reina

    66.5

    47.7

    51.6

    80.8

    58.9

    51.6

    56.5

    8

    Punta Arenas

    52.9

    24.5

    47.8

    34.6

    60.7

    61.1

    49.6

    9

    Concón

    26.4

    38.8

    44.0

    65.6

    73.8

    44.9

    49.4

    10

    La Serena

    25.8

    32.6

    54.4

    45.6

    58.6

    57.5

    49.1

    11

    Maipú

    37.3

    16.6

    66.1

    82.0

    58.9

    42.0

    48.5

    12

    Talcahuano

    29.4

    22.2

    49.7

    73.2

    62.8

    51.1

    48.3

    13

    Machalí

    68.1

    43.2

    31.8

    48.8

    69.4

    40.5

    48.2

    14

    San Pedro de la Paz

    32.0

    35.0

    39.0

    54.4

    57.1

    56.6

    47.7

    15

    Puerto Varas

    25.3

    40.6

    49.0

    55.9

    52.5

    51.2

    47.4

    16

    Concepción

    33.1

    59.8

    59.6

    50.7

    30.9

    46.2

    47.2

    17

    Cerrillos

    31.7

    22.6

    26.4

    59.2

    69.5

    59.4

    47.0

    18

    Valdivia

    26.0

    24.5

    56.8

    51.4

    58.6

    49.4

    46.4

    19

    Estación Central

    32.7

    29.3

    26.9

    63.9

    64.6

    53.3

    46.0

    20

    Antofagasta

    43.2

    41.0

    32.5

    66.7

    57.0

    41.2

    45.2

    21

    Iquique

    17.0

    44.9

    32.2

    75.4

    59.3

    42.4

    44.9

    22

    Copiapó

    40.5

    31.1

    47.6

    67.0

    66.6

    30.6

    44.7

    23

    Rancagua

    43.2

    26.9

    42.1

    49.2

    54.9

    48.3

    44.6

    24

    Viña del Mar

    33.5

    23.3

    37.4

    68.6

    48.1

    51.3

    43.7

    25

    Huechuraba

    17.8

    21.6

    31.4

    65.4

    52.9

    56.9

    43.1

    26

    San Miguel

    48.9

    20.2

    43.1

    78.1

    36.4

    47.0

    43.0

    27

    Macul

    22.0

    19.3

    40.0

    73.9

    53.8

    48.1

    43.0

    28

    Hualpén

    29.6

    22.5

    34.8

    62.0

    48.4

    53.8

    42.9

    AVERAGE

    32.7

    27.1

    40.1

    60.3

    52.6

    44.6

    42.8

    Source: prepared by authors, 2012.

     

    In contrast, Table 3 shows those municipalities with a UQLI score below the national average; from this list, seven out of ten municipalities also belong to Greater Santiago, sorted from lower to higher, they are: San Ramón, La Pintana, Lo Espejo, El Bosque, Pedro Aguirre Cerda, La Granja and San Bernardo. This table with lower UQLI 2012 is completed by municipalities located outside Greater Santiago; these are Lota (ranked 66th), San Antonio (ranked 64th) and Alto Hospicio (ranked 61st.) Thus, it is clear that 28 out of the 69 urban municipalities included in this research offer quality of life that exceed the national average; from this figure, 13 municipalities are located in Greater Santiago and 15 in the rest of the regions, including all regional capitals with the exception of Arica, Valparaíso, Talca, Temuco and Coyhaique.

     

    Table 3: Municipalities with a 2012 UQLI Scorebelow the National Average.

    PLACE

    MUNICIPALITY

    WS

    BE

    SC

    CM

    HE

    HLE

    UQLI

    29

    Quilicura

    32.2

    20.1

    30.4

    74.2

    60.0

    45.2

    42.7

    30

    Chiguayante

    29.8

    21.1

    39.3

    78.9

    60.5

    37.7

    42.6

    31

    La Cisterna

    31.5

    21.4

    39.2

    58.7

    64.2

    40.7

    42.5

    32

    Temuco

    16.3

    22.8

    49.3

    50.1

    58.1

    44.8

    42.3

    33

    Osorno

    35.8

    26.6

    48.6

    47.5

    30.3

    53.8

    41.9

    34

    Coquimbo

    25.7

    27.8

    48.4

    58.8

    43.7

    44.3

    41.8

    35

    Coronel

    26.3

    40.1

    37.7

    54.5

    53.4

    37.8

    41.6

    36

    Conchalí

    34.5

    20.5

    33.8

    68.0

    50.7

    45.5

    41.4

    37

    Renca

    22.9

    34.9

    32.6

    72.0

    45.0

    43.5

    41.2

    38

    San Joaquín

    36.8

    24.1

    41.4

    56.7

    39.2

    46.8

    40.8

    39

    La Florida

    35.7

    27.1

    35.2

    69.6

    44.3

    41.7

    40.7

    40

    Peñalolén

    27.7

    26.1

    30.4

    75.1

    51.2

    40.7

    40.5

    41

    Independencia

    38.5

    33.1

    21.1

    68.0

    53.3

    38.8

    40.2

    42

    Villa Alemana

    24.7

    11.5

    44.8

    69.4

    65.3

    32.4

    40.0

    43

    Pudahuel

    28.1

    26.2

    36.4

    63.4

    46.8

    41.0

    39.8

    44

    Quilpué

    29.6

    13.4

    38.8

    51.4

    63.1

    37.9

    39.2

    45

    Arica

    31.6

    22.3

    31.1

    60.5

    51.0

    38.2

    38.2

    46

    Chillán Viejo

    23.8

    31.0

    46.9

    39.8

    47.0

    34.7

    38.0

    47

    Talca

    13.5

    29.2

    43.4

    51.7

    35.9

    44.5

    380

    48

    Penco

    29.7

    18.6

    38.0

    53.2

    59.6

    32.9

    38.0

    49

    Recoleta

    34.2

    14.7

    25.9

    64.0

    49.2

    42.6

    37.6

    50

    Puente Alto

    31.3

    21.1

    36.0

    70.7

    31.6

    41.3

    37.1

    51

    Coyhaique

    46.5

    40.0

    39.6

    42.0

    54.1

    17.1

    36.8

    52

    Tome

    24.8

    18.9

    55.1

    53.0

    44.0

    29.7

    36.7

    53

    Valparaíso

    23.0

    23.2

    37.3

    61.7

    49.4

    31.8

    36.6

    54

    Chillan

    24.1

    28.2

    49.0

    23.1

    42.8

    36.4

    36.1

    55

    Lo Prado

    27.2

    15.6

    33.7

    58.4

    37.5

    40.6

    35.2

    56

    Puerto Montt

    28.2

    15.7

    40.6

    45.7

    39.7

    36.3

    34.5

    57

    Padre las Casas

    10.8

    2.0

    51.5

    48.0

    60.1

    28.8

    34.3

    58

    Quinta Normal

    32.8

    28.6

    22.9

    38.2

    45.4

    36.1

    34.2

    59

    Cerro Navia

    12.4

    15.3

    33.3

    57.7

    48.1

    36.0

    34.2

    60

    San Bernardo

    17.3

    24.9

    29.1

    67.6

    32.0

    37.9

    34.0

    61

    Alto Hospicio

    18.2

    31.7

    20.6

    39.9

    52.9

    32.6

    33.5

    62

    La Granja

    7.0

    17.2

    24.9

    75.4

    46.9

    33.4

    33.2

    63

    Pedro Aguirre Cerda

    26.5

    9.6

    35.1

    76.0

    25.8

    36.1

    32.4

    64

    San Antonio

    18.4

    16.6

    28.6

    24.6

    49.8

    38.8

    32.3

    65

    El Bosque

    27.4

    11.8

    27.9

    66.9

    41.8

    30.2

    32.1

    66

    Lota

    17.5

    12.9

    48.9

    48.3

    29.0

    33.8

    32.0

    67

    Lo Espejo

    25.7

    13.4

    17.3

    65.5

    40.9

    34.7

    31.4

    68

    La Pintana

    29.4

    8.7

    15.4

    61.7

    42.8

    34.3

    30.5

    69

    San Ramón

    16.6

    0.4

    22.9

    68.4

    40.0

    36.0

    29.8

    AVERAGE

    32.7

    27.1

    40.1

    60.3

    52.6

    44.6

    42.8

    Source: prepared by authors, 2012.

     

    By concentrating the analysis on the results obtained from the three main Chilean metropolitan areas: Greater Santiago, Greater Valparaíso and Greater Concepción, the 2012 UQLI provides evidence that inequality is greater within metropolitan areas than comparing the urban quality of life situation among all of the analyzed municipalities. Thus, Graphic 1 shows that only 13 out of the 34 municipalities of Greater Santiago exceed the national average, that is to say, 40% of the population; in this sense, the average of Greater Santiago (44.1) is higher than the national average (42.8.).

     

    Graphic 1: Ranked List of Municipalities Belonging to Greater Santiago According to the 2012 UQLI

    Source: prepared by authors, 2012.

     

    In the case of Greater Valparaíso -which includes the urban quality of life situation of five municipalities- graphic 2 shows that, while Concón and Viña del Mar exceed the national average (42.8) and the average of Greater Valparaíso (41.8), the indicators of Villa Alemana, Quilpué and Valparaíso itself are lower than the national average; this means that 61.7% of the population of this metropolitan area has a UQLI score below the national average.

     

    Graphic 2: Ranked List of Municipalities Belonging to Greater Valparaíso According to the 2012 UQLI

    Source: prepared by authors, 2012.

     

    As regards the situation of Greater Concepción, which is composed of nine municipalities, graphic 3 shows that while Talcahuano, San Pedro de la Paz, Concepción and Hualpén exceed the national average, the indicators of Chiguayante, Coronel, Penco, Tomé and Lota are lower than the average of Greater Concepción (41.9) and the national average (42.8?) This means that 60% of the population of Greater Concepción enjoys a UQLI score above the national average, a situation that contrasts greatly with the indicators of Greater Santiago (40%) and Greater Valparaíso (38.3%.) Such a scenario indicates that Greater Concepción presents high levels of territorial equity in terms of urban quality of life.

     

    Graphic 3: Ranked List of Municipalities Belonging to Greater Concepción according to the 2012 UQLI

    Source: prepared by authors, 2012.

     

    2002 UQLI Results

    The 2002 UQLI was estimated for the same municipalities included in the previous sections with the exception of Alto Hospicio and Hualpén, which had not been legally established at that time. As regards the 33 variables composing the calculation basis of the UQLI according to the methodology used for years 2011 and 2012, there was information available from 29 out of 33 variables; this situation did not significantly alter the comparison possibilities over a decade. Finally, the same weighting factors per sphere to calculate the 2012 UQLI were used in this case, bearing in mind that percentage distribution could have been slightly affected if the survey of experts had been conducted 10 years ago.

    As for the 2002 results, Table 4 shows the urban municipalities with a UQLI score above the national average (34.5); eight out of the top ten urban municipalities scoring higher UQLI scores belong to Greater Santiago, sorted from higher to lower, they are: Vitacura, Lo Barnechea, Providencia, Las Condes, Santiago, La Reina, Ñuñoa, and Macul. The first seven municipalities hold the first seven places in this list and Macul holds the 9th place. Outside Greater Santiago, only San Pedro de la Paz (ranked 8th) and Valdivia (ranked 10th) are included in this selected group of municipalities. Therefore, it can be stated that 24 out of the 67 urban municipalities included in this research offered a quality of life that exceeded the national average back in 2002, from this figure, 11 municipalities belong to Greater Santiago and 13 to the rest of the regions, including only 6 regional capitals: Santiago (5), Valdivia (10), Punta Arenas (19), Concepción (22), Iquique (23) and Coyhaique (24).

     

    Table 4: Municipalities with a 2002 UQLI Score above the National Average.

    PLACE

    MUNICIPALITY

    WS

    BE

    SC

    CM

    HE

    HLE

    UQLI

    1

    Vitacura

    59.0

    55.7

    59.3

    78.0

    9.5

    86.5

    75.4

    2

    Lo Barnechea

    35.0

    52.3

    46.9

    85.4

    86.5

    79.5

    67.2

    3

    Providencia

    64.5

    55.0

    49.3

    74.9

    80.9

    72.3

    66.7

    4

    Las Condes

    48.5

    61.9

    63.6

    69.8

    79.3

    50.1

    61.6

    5

    Santiago

    60.4

    74.0

    41.1

    14.5

    48.0

    66.7

    54.7

    6

    La Reina

    46.9

    20.4

    49.3

    67.9

    84.2

    46.9

    51.9

    7

    Ñuñoa

    51.0

    27.0

    38.5

    42.7

    66.2

    45.7

    45.5

    8

    San Pedro de la Paz

    43.3

    18.0

    56.0

    56.1

    64.3

    35.7

    44.3

    9

    Macul

    51.6

    14.2

    48.6

    56.6

    60.9

    39.7

    43.7

    10

    Valdivia

    41.9

    15.3

    50.1

    52.5

    42.1

    49.9

    42.4

    11

    Concón

    44.1

    16.3

    53.4

    47.1

    67.2

    31.6

    42.2

    12

    Osorno

    45.7

    15.9

    53.0

    48.3

    39.9

    44.8

    41.1

    13

    Cerrillos

    32.2

    24.9

    39.6

    32.3

    53.9

    45.6

    40.3

    14

    La Serena

    63.0

    19.5

    51.3

    41.2

    46.6

    29.8

    39.2

    15

    Puerto Varas

    37.1

    17.2

    55.2

    42.3

    67.4

    22.5

    38.9

    16

    San Miguel

    39.4

    25.1

    35.6

    23.6

    59.7

    37.8

    38.3

    17

    Huechuraba

    37.6

    27.1

    24.4

    47.5

    58.0

    33.7

    37.2

    18

    Viña del Mar

    49.8

    22.2

    46.6

    47.0

    25.2

    39.4

    36.9

    19

    Punta Arenas

    34.1

    19.2

    51.5

    51.7

    41.2

    29.7

    36.4

    20

    Machalí

    44.8

    14.1

    47.9

    49.1

    63.8

    16.7

    36.1

    21

    Chillan Viejo

    43.3

    17.5

    44.2

    22.7

    65.7

    23.6

    35.9

    22

    Concepción

    43.1

    23.2

    49.5

    32.3

    36.6

    32.1

    35.6

    23

    Iquique

    42.8

    22.1

    45.9

    34.6

    37.9

    33.2

    35.5

    24

    Coyhaique

    38.6

    17.1

    55.7

    29.2

    56.7

    17.9

    34.6

    AVERAGE

    39.4

    17.4

    39.5

    45.5

    46.6

    28.1

    34.5

    Source: prepared by authors, 2012.

     

    Furthermore, table 5 shows that seven out of the top ten municipalities with a 2002 UQLI score below the national average belong to Greater Santiago, sorted from lower to higher, they are: Lo Espejo, Cerro Navia, San Bernardo, El Bosque, La Pintana, La Granja (ranked 60th) and Lo Prado (ranked 58th.) This list of the ten municipalities with 2002 UQLI scores below the national average is completed by two municipalities belonging to the Bíobío Region: Lota (ranked 63rd) and Penco (ranked 59th); and Valparaíso (ranked 61st.) In addition, it is worth pointing out that a significant number of the most important regional capitals achieved UQLI scores below the national average, especially Valparaíso, whose score (25.1) ranks at the bottom of this list, away from the national average.

     

    Table 5: Municipalities with a 2002 UQLI Score below the National Average.

    PLACE

    MUNICIPALITY

    WS

    BE

    SC

    CM

    HE

    HLE

    UQLI

    25

    Quilicura

    44.3

    28.6

    32.9

    54.1

    50.4

    15.6

    33.5

    26

    La Florida

    40.5

    21.2

    41.7

    53.6

    28.7

    29.6

    33.4

    27

    Quilpué

    39.8

    16.5

    50.8

    45.2

    42.9

    20.6

    33.4

    28

    Coquimbo

    48.2

    13.7

    41.6

    45.5

    38.4

    27.8

    33.4

    29

    Temuco

    48.9

    21.2

    39.8

    49.5

    32.6

    26.6

    33.3

    30

    La Cisterna

    44.1

    8.9

    29.7

    27.5

    59.6

    28.7

    32.8

    31

    Villa Alemana

    42.5

    3.4

    52.4

    44.8

    49.5

    19.5

    32.7

    32

    Copiapó

    38.0

    13.2

    49.5

    47.6

    42.7

    19.3

    32.3

    33

    Antofagasta

    45.4

    27.2

    45.9

    46.3

    21.5

    23.7

    31.9

    34

    Independencia

    24.6

    11.1

    27.3

    31.8

    52.9

    34.8

    31.8

    35

    Maipú

    40.2

    27.0

    36.8

    49.3

    22.9

    28.3

    31.6

    36

    San Antonio

    41.6

    9.1

    42.8

    40.5

    43.4

    22.5

    31.2

    37

    Estación Central

    38.9

    8.7

    34.7

    28.1

    44.4

    28.6

    30.3

    38

    Talca

    48.4

    18.3

    35.3

    40.4

    30.2

    24.6

    30.2

    39

    Chiguayante

    34.8

    7.0

    27.5

    54.3

    59.5

    16.7

    30.1

    40

    Rancagua

    36.0

    22.9

    37.6

    48.6

    38.0

    15.6

    29.8

    41

    Peñalolén

    38.7

    15.3

    29.6

    55.5

    40.9

    19.8

    29.8

    42

    San Joaquín

    27.8

    10.0

    25.3

    45.8

    49.9

    26.1

    29.7

    43

    Padre las Casas

    32.5

    8.2

    38.6

    48.4

    47.7

    17.8

    29.6

    44

    Talcahuano

    44.8

    10.7

    40.8

    42.9

    25.2

    26.8

    29.5

    45

    Arica

    53.6

    15.9

    34.4

    37.7

    32.9

    21.5

    29.5

    46

    Puerto Montt

    31.0

    23.3

    38.4

    42.0

    31.8

    21.6

    29.5

    47

    Chillan

    40.7

    13.2

    44.8

    44.7

    33.4

    17.8

    29.3

    48

    Renca

    27.3

    6.6

    45.9

    42.8

    44.8

    15.7

    28.5

    49

    Coronel

    20.9

    7.3

    50.9

    47.6

    38.9

    15.8

    28.2

    50

    San Ramón

    26.3

    5.1

    36.5

    52.6

    43.7

    18.4

    28.0

    51

    Puente Alto

    49.8

    23.5

    32.6

    49.5

    20.6

    17.6

    27.7

    52

    Recoleta

    32.1

    11.1

    35.2

    45.9

    36.1

    18.9

    27.4

    53

    Pedro Aguirre Cerda

    24.7

    7.3

    33.0

    45.4

    42.5

    19.0

    26.9

    54

    Tomé

    15.4

    2.1

    28.9

    42.7

    48.2

    24.2

    26.8

    55

    Quinta Normal

    23.0

    12.4

    30.2

    24.4

    45.4

    22.0

    26.6

    56

    Conchalí

    29.6

    6.2

    24.2

    48.4

    42.0

    20.3

    26.2

    57

    Pudahuel

    32.9

    6.2

    24.6

    49.7

    38.0

    20.8

    26.1

    58

    Lo Prado

    24.6

    5.4

    26.6

    40.1

    48.1

    18.1

    25.7

    59

    Penco

    41.7

    3.1

    26.4

    40.0

    51.2

    11.6

    25.6

    60

    La Granja

    36.3

    2.0

    35.5

    48.6

    40.8

    11.9

    25.4

    61

    Valparaíso

    36.5

    14.9

    41.5

    38.8

    18.6

    17.2

    25.1

    62

    La Pintana

    47.1

    2.6

    27.7

    48.0

    31.3

    16.4

    24.6

    63

    Lota

    21.9

    2.3

    30.5

    45.2

    43.1

    13.9

    24.0

    64

    El Bosque

    29.9

    3.7

    29.9

    43.4

    37.9

    14.0

    23.7

    65

    San Bernardo

    34.9

    10.2

    27.6

    37.1

    26.8

    10.5

    21.2

    66

    Cerro Navia

    29.7

    1.9

    7.8

    47.0

    33.9

    20.9

    21.1

    67

    Lo Espejo

    31.0

    2.6

    13.2

    36.8

    40.9

    13.9

    20.7

    AVERAGE

    39.4

    17.4

    39.5

    45.5

    46.6

    28.1

    34.5

    Source: prepared by authors, 2012.

     

    In relation to the results obtained in the three main Chilean metropolitan areas: Greater Santiago, Greater Valparaíso and Greater Concepción, the 2002 UQLI shows that inequality was greater within metropolitan areas than comparing the urban quality of life situation among all of the analyzed municipalities. Thus, graphic 4 shows that only 11 out of the 34 municipalities of Greater Santiago exceeded the national average, that is to say, 24.5% of the population; this means that three out of four people lived in municipalities with UQLI scores below the national average. In addition, it is worth pointing out that there were greater levels of inequity among municipalities within the metropolitan region in 2002 as the result of the average of Greater Santiago (35.7) being higher than the national average (34.5.)

     

    Graphic 4: Ranked List of Municipalities Belonging to Greater Santiago According to the 2002 UQLI

    Source: prepared by authors, 2012.

     

    In the case of Greater Valparaíso, Graphic 5 shows that, while Concón and Viña del Mar had a quality of life that exceeded the national average back in 2002, Quilpué, Villa Alemana and Valparaíso had UQLI scores below the national average; in this line, Valparaíso revealed an alarming situation due to its condition of regional capital. This means that 61% of the population of this metropolitan area experienced a quality of life below the national average, whereas the average of Greater Valparaíso (34.1) was slightly below the national average (34.5).

     

    Graphic 5: Ranked List of Municipalities Belonging to Greater Valparaíso According to the 2002 UQLI

    Source: prepared by authors, 2012.

     

    Lastly, in the case of Greater Concepción, Graphic 6 shows that San Pedro de la Paz and Concepción present UQLI scores above the national average; the rest of the municipalities show significantly lower values, with Lota holding the last place in the list. In population terms, 36.2% of the population experienced a quality of life above the national average. It is also reported that the average of Greater Concepción (30.5) was lower than the national average (34.5).

     

    Graphic 6: Ranked List of Municipalities Belonging to Greater Concepción According to the 2002 UQLI

    Source: prepared by authors, 2012.

     

    2002-2012 Trend Analysis

    Based on the corresponding ranked list, different comparisons on the relative position of each municipality can be conducted in order to analyze the changes in the urban quality of life among municipalities over the 2002-2012 period. Such a method of analysis is preferred due to the inconsistency of comparing yearly indicators, since the methodology to develop the UQLI slightly modifies the variables used every year; in this case, what is important is the relative position of each municipality in the global ranked list.

    Visual advantages provided by geographical information systems designed to analyze the distribution patterns of the UQLI for 2002 and 2012 can be used to conduct a comparative analysis on the changes in the urban quality of life within the three main metropolitan areas: Greater Santiago, Greater Valparaíso and Greater Concepción. The natural cut-off criteria was used to determine the different urban quality of life levels: High, Medium, Low and Very Low. Thus, the comparison of graphic 7 and graphic 8 shows the changes in the urban quality of life within the municipalities belonging to Greater Santiago over a decade.

     

    Graphic 7: 2002 Results of Urban Quality of Life Index (UQLI) for Greater Santiago

    Source: prepared by authors, 2012.

     

    Graphic 8: 2012 Results of Urban Quality of Life Index (UQLI) for Greater Santiago

    Source: prepared by authors, 2012.

     

    According to the visualization of the mapping results for each year, it can be stated that there has been a significant narrowing in the urban quality of life gap over the 2002-2012 period in Greater Santiago; the reason is that the number of municipalities that increased their UQLI scores was higher than the number of those municipalities that lower their indicators. In this context, those municipalities located in the north-west and south-east areas of the city improved their situation.

    As for Greater Valparaíso, the comparison of graphic 9 and graphic 10 shows that, in terms of the evolution of UQLI scores, there is a deteriorating situation that is reflected in the ranked list of municipalities; in this sense, while two out of five municipalities were on the top twenty list back in 2002, Concón (ranked 9th) is the only municipality holding a favorable place in the 2012 list. The rest of the municipalities either experienced declines in their rankings or remained at the bottom of the list, as in the case of Valparaíso.

     

    Graphic 9: 2002 Results of Urban Quality of Life Index (UQLI) for Greater Valparaíso

    Source: prepared by authors, 2012.

     

    Graphic 10: 2012 Results of Urban Quality of Life Index (UQLI) for Greater Valparaíso

    Source: prepared by authors, 2012.

     

    As for the situation of Greater Concepción, the comparison of graphic 11 and graphic 12 shows the changes in the urban quality of life within the nine municipalities that compose this metropolitan area. Thus, the results suggest a greater homogenization trend among municipalities; in this regard, higher and lower ranked municipalities were separated by about 20 points in 2002, such a gap narrowed to approximately 16 points in 2012.

     

    Graphic 11: 2002 Results of Urban Quality of Life Index (UQLI) for Greater Concepción

    Source: prepared by authors, 2012.

     

    Graphic 12: 2012 Results of Urban Quality of Life Index (UQLI) for Greater Concepción

    Source: prepared by authors, 2012.

     

    Regarding the questions about the factors that explain the changes in the urban quality of life within the analyzed municipalities, it is worth studying the variability of the indicators included in the estimation of the UQLI, which are expressed in each of the spheres of these municipalities. The graphics below show that the “variability” is represented by the coefficient of variation (CV[x])25 of ranked lists according to each sphere. Graphic 13 shows the variability per sphere in each of the analyzed municipalities, this graphic illustrates the variability of each sphere expressed in a scale corrected by average level or average ranking. This variability can be understood as an inequity indicator of each sphere.

    Bearing in mind that a coefficient of variation higher than 40% demonstrates a considerable gap among municipalities, it can be said, then, that those spheres showing high rates of variability explain the differences among the analyzed municipalities, especially if their weighted value is higher than the value of the rest of the spheres. Based on this criteria, while there was a considerable variability within the Business Environment and Housing and Living Environment spheres (82.9% and 55.9%, respectively) in 2002, the other four areas showed lower rates of variability, most of them below 30% with the exception of Health and Environment (35.2%.) These findings are important because the two spheres with higher rates of variability account for the 46% of the UQLI score according to the weighting factors applied after conducting the survey of experts.

    Over a decade the urban quality of life gap has narrowed considerably, as variability indicators declined from 31.6% to 22.1% as observed in graphic 13. Four out of the six spheres that compose the 2012 UQLI saw their variability indicators reduced. The only exceptions are the spheres related to Work Status and Sociocultural Conditions, which increased their variability from 25.8% to 48.3% and from 28.1% to 32.1%, respectively, over the 2002-2012 period. Despite accounting for 10% of the UQLI, it is worth mentioning the case of the Work Status sphere, since a variability of 50% among municipalities is a clear testimony of inequity in this quality of life aspect.

    Likewise, it is important to note that the Business Environment and Housing and Living Environment spheres, which showed the largest differences among municipalities in the 2002 UQLI, present the greatest narrowing in the urban quality of life gap among municipalities today. By making a comparison between the 2002 UQLI and the 2012 UQLI, the variability average of the Business Environment and Housing and Living Environment areas dropped from 82.9% to 49.1% and from 55.9% to 28.1%, respectively.

    Graphic 14 shows the variability of each sphere among the main Chilean metropolitan areas: Greater Santiago, Greater Valparaíso and Greater Concepción. Grey bars represent the changes in Greater Santiago (the first ones), green bars represent the changes in Greater Valparaíso (the second ones) and blue bars represent the changes in Greater Concepción (the third ones); pale and dark tones show the indicators for the years 2002 and 2012, respectively.

    The analysis of the global changes of the UQLI suggests a narrowing in the gap among the municipalities belonging to the three metropolitan areas, even in Greater Valparaíso (green) and Greater Concepción (blue), whose variability averages fell below 15%, dropping by 7 percentage points over a decade. According to the 2012 UQLI, the variability average of Greater Santiago is 28%, which is above the 22.1% estimated for the 67 municipalities included in this research.

    By means of a more detailed comparative analysis, it can be observed that there are different nuances emerging around the spheres that contributed to either narrowing or increasing the gap among municipalities within metropolitan areas; in terms of final results, the effect of the former on each of these urban conglomerates is more important than that of the latter.

    At a first approximation, the analysis per sphere shows that the Business Environment area presents the higher variability and the greatest narrowing in the gap among the municipalities belonging to the metropolitan areas of Greater Santiago and Greater Concepción, where such a difference drops by 30 percentage points; this is not the case of Greater Valparaíso, which experienced an increase of about two percentage points. Likewise, there is a reduction in the gap related to Housing and Living Environment in all metropolitan areas; this is an important event since the weighted value of this sphere within the UQLI is about 30%. In addition, the Health and Environment sphere shows a decline in the urban quality of life gap, especially in the case of Greater Valparaíso, where such a distance is reduced by 30 percentage points. According to the 2012 UQLI, this sphere, whose weighted value is 18.8% -the second incidence area behind Housing and Living Environment-, shows variability below 30% in metropolitan areas.

    Regarding the rest of the spheres, there are different behaviors among the three metropolitan areas; in this sense, the average of the Work Status sphere rises from 28,6% to 51.9% in the case of Greater Santiago, such a figure shows an important increase in this gap as far as quality of life is concerned. As for Greater Valparaíso, despite experiencing an average increase as well, its variability is very low as it barely rises above 15% according to the 2012 UQLI. In contrast, Greater Concepción shows a considerable decline as its gap narrowed from 36.0% to 16.7%, almost 20 percentage points.

    In relation to Sociocultural Conditions, there is an important increase in variability experienced by Greater Santiago, as it rises from 33.1% to 42.1%, thus revealing a growth in inequity within this sphere; conversely, Greater Valparaíso and Greater Concepción, apart from narrowing their gaps, present low incidence rates of less than 20%. Such a sphere accounts for 17.2% of the weighted total, becoming the third area of incidence within the UQLI.

    Lastly, Graphic 13 shows the decrease in the Connectivity and Mobility gap, which drops from 33.3% to 17.9%. In contrast, both cases show a slight increase in this gap, with a variability below 20%.

     

    Graphic 13: Comparison of the Variability per Spheres between the 2002 UQLI and the 2012 UQLI (%)

    Fuente: elaboración propia, 2012.Source: prepared by authors, 2012.

     

    Graphic 14: Comparison of the Variability per Spheres between the 2002 UQLI and the 2012 UQLI (%)

    Source: prepared by authors, 2012.

     

    Conclusions

    The comparison of the results obtained from the 2002 UQLI and the 2012 UQLI provides strong evidence that there has been a decrease in the quality of life among Chilean urban municipalities over the last decade. However, there is an important gap that still exists in large metropolitan areas, especially in the case of Greater Santiago, which involves the two opposing realities of the country; such a scenario is reflected in the UQLI ranked list. The Business Environment and Housing and Living Environment spheres, which account for nearly 46% of the UQLI weighted total, have considerably reduced their gaps; this is an important event, as they showed high levels of variability.

    The application of the UQLI has the advantage of establishing a direct relationship between the factors that prompt the lower or higher quality of life offered by a municipality in relation to the set of economic, social and environmental initiatives developed by the public and private sector and the civil society itself. From this perspective, having a validated monitoring and follow-up system aimed at comparing and evaluating the evolution of quality of life in Chile is not only a useful instrument for policy makers in their task of prioritizing, focusing and assessing the impact of their actions on the urban space, but also allows to decipher important questions regarding as to why there are strong quality of life differences among municipalities within metropolitan areas.

    Veltz26 proposes that metropolitan areas tend to be alike at a global scale and differ at an internal scale and this thesis seems to be fully completed in the case of Greater Santiago. This city, which is at the top or among the top Latin American cities in all international lists (MERCER, MasterCard, The Economist, IABD, among others), hides the two faces of urban development in Chile; such a fact is reflected in municipalities with quality of life standards equal to those of cities from developed countries and municipalities that concentrate large amount of problems related to the socio-territorial configuration process of their metropolitan area.

    Patterns derived from the analysis provided by this research show that metropolitan areas are a high priority aspect of urban development in terms of urgency for public policy. However, the results show clear imbalances among municipalities, particularly for the cases of Greater Santiago, Greater Concepción and Greater Valparaíso. The lack of an institutional model for these metropolitan areas which are under a single administration, an integral planning and a coordinated cross-sectored management will probably have an impact on other emerging metropolitan areas, where probably in the near future there will not be adequate answers on public policies issues either (La Serena-Coquimbo, Rancagua-Machalí, Temuco-Padre las Casas, Puerto Montt-Puerto Varas, among other). Summarising, where and to what extent public and private investment is focused, as well as the different ways of how the metropolitan territory is configured, are not a minor issue in terms of urban quality of life.

    Finally, the complexity and dynamism imposed by the current urban development demand the acknowledgment of the traces of the metropolization process in Chile and deciphering the reasons that determine the differences among municipalities and explain why some of them concentrate the greatest attributes in terms of quality of life and others act as the repository of undesired externalities, which severely affect the quality of life of those who inhabit these places. In this sense, this research is an important contribution to this end.

     

    Notes

    1 The paper disseminates the results of the research project Social Sciences Rings SOC1106 CONICYT, 2012, and the study “Urban Quality of Life Index (UQLI)” 2002-2012, developed by the Metropolitan Studies Group at the Institute of Urban and Territorial Studies at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile in conjunction with the Chilean Chamber of Construction (CChC).
    7 Greater Santiago includes the 32 municipalities belonging to the Province of Santiago and the municipalities of Puente Alto and San Bernardo. Greater Valparaíso has five municipalities: Valparaíso, Viña del Mar, Concón, Quilpué and Villa Alemana. Finally, Greater Concepción is composed of nine municipalities: Concepción, Talcahuano, Hualpén, Chiguayante, San Pedro de la Paz, Tomé, Penco, Lota and Coronel.
    8 Mattos, 2010.
    9 Veltz, 1999.
    10 It basically refers to the post of Mayor, as in the case of main Colombian cities, which have an authority at metropolitan scale; Barcelona, with authorities at supra-municipal level; or some Brazilian cities with certain municipal responsibilities.
    11 While there is a provincial government recognized within the State administration, its faculties and responsibilities have no effect in terms of urban and territorial development; this is why such a government level is not considered in this analysis.
    12 Fadda and Jirón, 1999.
    13 UNESCO, 1978.
    14 BID, 2008.
    15 Please refer to note 2
    16 Perception Survey on Urban Quality of Life (PSUQL), which was first conducted in 2007 and then in 2011 on 103 urban centers of the country. Further details of the methodology used in this survey is available at http://www.ine.cl/canales/chile_estadistico/estadisticas_sociales_culturales/encuesta_tiempo_libre_2007/metodologia/informe_metodologico_calidad_de_vida_urbana.pdf
    17 Please refer to http://oecdbetterlifeindex.org/
    18 Please refer to http://www.economist.com/node/21016172
    19 Please refer to www.mastercardworldwide.com/insights
    20 Please refer to http://www.mercer.com/qualityofliving
    21 It means that the variable is attributable to a condition of this municipality.
    22 It means that the variable has an important statistical representation within the municipality.
    23 It means that the variable covers all of the analyzed municipalities.
    24 The PCA is a multivariate analysis technique that extracts and polarizes information from large datasets. The aim of the PCA is to restate datasets with k variables on the basis of a new group of p variables (with p being much lower than k), which constitute a linear combination and projection of the original variables.
    25 CV(x]=100*(s(x)/x(p)), where s(x)= standard deviation of the x variable; x(p) represents the arithmetic average of the x variable.
    26 Veltz, 1999.

     

    Bibliography

    BID. Calidad de vida: más allá de los hechos. [En línea]. Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo. 2008. ISBN: 978-1-59782-083-7. Serie Desarrollo en las Américas. Disponible en: http://www.iadb.org/es/investigacion-y-datos/detalles-de-publicacion,3169.html?pub_id=b-632

    FADDA, Giulietta y JIRÓN, Paola. Calidad de vida: una metodología para la investigación urbana. Revista de la Escuela de Economía y Negocios UNSAM. (1): 175-187, marzo 1999.

    MATTOS, Carlos de. Globalización y metamorfosis metropolitana en América Latina. De la ciudad a lo urbano generalizado. [En línea]. Revista de Geografía Norte Grande. (47): 81-104. 2002. ISSN 0718-3402. Disponible en: http://dx.doi.org/ 10.4067/S0718-34022010000300005

    UNESCO. Final report expert meeting on indicators of environmental quality and the quality of life. [En línea]. En: Indicators of environmental quaility and quality of life. Paris, France, UNESCO. 1978. p. 89-96. Reports and papers in the social sciences, Nº 38. ISBN 92-3-1 01 539-7. Disponible en: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0003/000367/036722eo.pdf

    VELTZ, Pierre. Mundialización, ciudades y territorios: La economía del archipiélago. Barcelona, Ariel. 1999.

     


    Received: 18.06.12
    Accepted: 31.01.13