Environmental activism here seems to work most effectively when deployed for political ends. Private initiatives are not so successful.
A case in point is the Hotel Punta Piqueros, in Con Con which has been constructed beside a declared Nature Sanctuary, the Dunas de Con Con, (itself under threat by property development)
Disregarding the environmental impact, its emplacement shows a stunning disrespect for the forces of nature. Not only is it routinely exposed to the destructive effects of Pacific storms, even a moderate Tsunami would flood its lower levels. And the long-term structural effects of exposure to corrosive salt air, (and seawater in this case) are well known.
But despite years of legal battles, construction was only paralysed by the Supreme Court in 2021. Its future is uncertain, the financiers include some of the most powerful of Chile’s familias ricas who will undoubtedly lobby the powers-that-be.
Its yet another example of urban Chilean consumers’ deluded “encanto con la naturaleza” which destroys the very environment they claim to love, and puts themselves at risk at the same time.
I lived for about 6 months within walking distance of this remarkable site in 2015 or 2016, this is one of the most Cuico parts of ConCon (montemar), and there were a number of other good examples of similar destructive projects, including those causing damage to these very dunes, or the nearby pine forest, and more. Yes, I hear you.
La brutalidades de Playa Cochoa en Viña del Mar | City Tour
This YouTube video shows the scale of the ConCon Dunes development, where literally hundreds of apartments in high rise blocks dominate the summit. Their lineal emplacement is dictated by the need to offer an uninterrupted “Ocean View” to residents willing to pay a premium to contemplate “la naturaleza del mar”.
In a country beset by chronic housing shortages, at least at the lower end of the scale, these CLP $500M luxury apartments highlight Chile’s persistent inequalities, especially since they are generally purchased as “investments”, not for permanent residence. This phenomenon isn’t confined to Chile’s central region; there are similar developments throughout the country.
Its what happens when Lucre trumps Engineering, Common Sense, and the forces of nature. It also shows up the delusions of well-heeled consumers who, in their quest for a spurious “natural living”, destroy the very environments they seek. Its a worldwide phenomenon, but their Chilean manifestations, those “Santiagos-by-the-Sea”, are particularly egregious examples.