State type
Type of government
Republica representativa democrática
Administrative Division

National Level

Gobierno Central

Intermediate/Regional Level

Regiones 16

Local Level

Municipios 345

Official names of subnational and local governments


National Urban Policy

  • The main objective of Chile's National Urban Development Policy is to generate conditions for improved "People's Quality of Life", understood not only with respect to the availability of goods or objective conditions but also in subjective terms, associated to the human dimension and relationships between people.

    This Policy is based on the concept of "Sustainable Development", understanding development as the increase in the possibilities of people and communities to carry out their life projects in different areas; And sustainable, in terms  "the satisfying of people's current needs does not compromise the ability of future generations to meet theirs."

    National urban policy type:
    Policy temporality:
  • Municipalities in Chile are, by constitutional mandate, territorially and functionally decentralized bodies that have their own capital.

    Municipal income comes from various sources, among its own resources the property tax stands out, which is collected by the central government but distributed to the municipalities; commercial patents; and vehicle taxes (vehicle licenses and transfers). Municipal governments have limited autonomy to set rates or rates, except for commercial patents. They also have regulatory limitations to charge fees for provision of public services, which are generally granted to the central government.

    Regarding transfers, Chilean municipalities have an inter-municipal fund called the Municipal Common Fund, which is horizontal and redistributive. They also have transfers from the central government for social and municipal investment programs and the municipalized health and education sectors.

    Additionally, local governments can access financing mechanisms from Public-Private Partnerships and international cooperation funds for urban development. However, they have very limited access to internal and external debt instruments.

  • In Chile, there are several instruments and mechanisms to organize and plan the urban and rural territory. The territorial planning is carried out through a macro division of the territory into territorial units, which are: the nation, the regions, inter-communes and communes. The normative structure for land use planning is based on the laws, ordinances and decrees created by the planning institutions, their methodologies and the instruments that are implemented within the land planning system.