Santiago, also known as Santiago de Chile, is the capital and largest city of Chile as well as one of the largest cities in the Americas. It is the centre of Chile's most densely populated region, the Santiago Metropolitan Region. The city is entirely in the country's central valley. The city has a downtown core of 19th century neo-classical architecture and winding side-streets, dotted by art deco, neo-gothic, and other styles. Santiago's cityscape is shaped by several stand-alone hills and the fast-flowing Mapocho River, lined by parks such as Parque Forestal and Balmaceda Park. The Andes Mountains can be seen from most points in the city. The city outskirts are surrounded by vineyards and Santiago is within an hour of both the mountains and the Pacific Ocean.
Santiago is the cultural, political and financial centre of Chile and is home to the regional headquarters of many multinational corporations. The Chilean executive and judiciary are located in Santiago, but Congress meets mostly in nearby Valparaíso. Santiago is named after the biblical figure St. James.
Santiago is the industrial centre of Chile, and generates 45% of the country's GDP. Some international institutions, such as ECLAC (Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean), have their offices in Santiago. The strong economy and low government debt is attracting migrants from Europe and the United States.
Santiago's steady economic growth over the past few decades has transformed it into a modern metropolis. The city is now home to a growing theatre and restaurant scene, extensive suburban development, dozens of shopping centres, and a rising skyline, including the tallest building in Latin America, the Gran Torre Santiago. It includes several major universities, and has developed a modern transportation infrastructure, including a free flow toll-based, partly underground urban freeway system and the Metro de Santiago, South America's most extensive subway system.
Santiago is an economically divided city (Gini coefficient of 0.47). The western half (zona poniente) of the city is, on average, much poorer than the eastern communes, where the high-standard public and private facilities are concentrated.
The Costanera Center, a mega project in Santiago's Financial District, includes a 280,000-square-meter (3,000,000 sq ft) mall, a 300-meter (980 ft) tower, two office towers of 170 meters (558 ft) each, and a hotel 105 meters (344 ft) tall. Close to Costanera Center another skyscraper is already in use, Titanium La Portada, 190 meters (623 ft) tall. Although these are the two biggest projects, there are many other office buildings under construction in Santiago, as well as hundreds of high rise residential buildings. In February 2011, Gran Torre Santiago, part of the Costanera Center project, located in the called Sanhattan district, reached the 300-meter mark, officially becoming the tallest structure in Latin America.
Santiago is Chile's retail capital. Falabella, Paris, Johnson, Ripley, La Polar, and several other department stores dot the mall landscape of Chile. The east side neighbourhoods like Vitacura, La Dehesa, and Las Condes are home to Santiago's Alonso de Cordova street, and malls like Parque Arauco, Alto Las Condes, Mall Plaza (a chain of malls present in Chile and other Latin American countries) and Costanera Center are known for their luxurious shopping. Alonso de Cordova, has exclusive stores like Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Emporio Armani, Salvatore Ferragamo, Ermenegildo Zegna, Swarovski, MaxMara, Longchamp, and others. Alonso de Cordova also houses some of Santiago's most famous restaurants, art galleries, wine showrooms and furniture stores. The Costanera Center has stores like Armani Exchange, Banana Republic, Façonnable, Hugo Boss, Swarovski, and Zara. There are plans for a Saks Fifth Avenue in Santiago. Several mercados in the city such as the Mercado Central de Santiago sell local goods. Barrio Bellavista and Barrio Lastarria have some of the most exclusive night clubs, chic cafés and restaurants.
Santiago is rated Alpha − by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) which evaluates and ranks the relationships between world cities in the context of globalisation. Alpha level cities are linked to major economic states and regions and into the world economy.
Santiago is the #93 city in the world according to the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) which evaluates and ranks the competitiveness of the major financial centres of the world according to a wide range of criteria – Human Capital, Business, Finance, Infrastructure and Reputation.
Santiago is ranked #156 by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. Santiago was ranked #98 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Santiago has a population of over 5,507,282 people. Santiago also forms part of the wider Santiago metropolitan area which has a population of over 7,037,000 people.