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Anthropology | Migration Studies | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Urban Studies and Planning


Over the last three decades, Santiago, Chile has experienced rapid urbanisation. The city’s expansion has prompted the proliferation of high-rise residential buildings, mediated by spatial segregation along class lines and fragmented urban governance. Concurrently, economic opportunities in Chile have drawn regional labour migrants, resulting in an unprecedented increase in migratory flows. Drawing on ethnographic research, this article charts the everyday experiences of migrants in high-rise residences. As new arrivals seek housing, social networks channel migrants – particularly Venezuelans – into shared high-rise apartments, producing specific buildings as vertical enclaves. Lived experiences within the confines of verticality are frequently shaped by the challenges of overcrowding. As migrants craft daily practices to mitigate these limitations, their routines make full use of limited space and meaningfully engage with building common areas, public spaces and neighbourhoods. The everyday practice of verticality articulates links between high-rises and surrounding sites, neighbourhoods and the broader urban fabric.


This is an accepted manuscript. The final published version may be accessed at