The conflict began in 1996 when neighbors in Bellavista began to find out through a series of rumors that a highway project would cross through their neighborhood. This boiled down to an urban megaproject at a distance of more than 33km. This became a conflict due to the projected effects it would have on a longstanding and traditional neighborhood found to the north of downtown Santiago. This area is characterized as being home to artists and bohemians and features a discernible presence of restaurants and nightclubs.
Contrary to popular perception, the Inner Belt opposition movement was far from unified. While opponents to the highway were united in their objectives, their motivations and strategies were as varied as the group itself. Even residents of the same community differed in their reasons for criticizing the highway.
Principal sources of the Inner Belt controversy included the highway’s potential effects on: