In every house a garden, every neighbour a recycler.


CASE STAGE: Well established and running
LOCATION: Comuna de Macul – Metropolitan Region (Chile)
GOVERNANCE: Not defined


The community of Villa Santa Elena faced the challenge of transforming itself into an eco-neighbourhood and, through a process of social innovation, environmental education and leadership, has been consolidated as a neighborhood that contributes to the care of the environment.

The Neighbourhood Association has assigned a space of 600m2 which is run by the Neighbourhod Environmental Committee. The Demonstrative Center was set in that place, in which it is possible to find an 80m2 classroom-greenhouse, a solar panel and also a public recycling spot that has managed to recycle over 1000 tons of waste, and that has also been part of the video ‘Voces del Reciclaje’ (Voices of Recycling) of the Ministry of the Environment.

We have carried out different activities on environmental education, sustainability, energy efficiency, healthy food, recycling, vegan cuisine, permaculture, production of urban gardens, afforestation, lectures, talks, etc., These activities have been financed through tenders by Petrobras, the Environmental Protection Fund, Valentín Letelier Fund from the University of Chile and with contributions of the Neighbours Association.

An annual Eco-market is realized in which the consumption of environmentally friendly products is promoted. The project has been highlighted by the media, including the National Channel’s Global Change program, Publimetro (newspaper), La Cuarta (newspaper), among others. The foundations of the Transition Initiative are undoubtedly a model that guides the development of these processes, which show many of these distinctive characteristics.


DOMAINSFood and agriculture, Education, Raising awareness about sustainability, climate change, healthy living, environmental issues, etc. Health, Social Care, Arts and Culture, Participatory Democracy and Planning, Economy, Waste management, Community work, Systemic Change (not focused on particular projects).

BENEFICIARIES: Children, Adults (25 – 65), Families, General


MiT noteInteresting for phase 2 (Sustainable Neighbourhood program as a tool; the municipality is participating?). Suitable for pilot (in order to strengthen the collaboration with the municipality).


Liliana Cocio Vera