LISBON>>AMEIXOEIRA/GALINHEIRAS

Characteristics of the area
The Lisbon case study spans a diverse urban area which includes a historical quarter, a number of residential buildings and some illegal buildings. As a consequence of this diversity, the area experiences serious social problems.
The case study area is situated between four different boundaries:
- the main road going north out of Lisbon
- another major road, which is currently under construction
- the territorial boundary of the city, which borders with two other municipalities (it was only considered part of Lisbon in 1852)
- Lisbon Airport

This area was considered appropriate as a LUDA case study due to its social problems and the lack of planning structure. The current situation is worsened by a lack of civic cohesion and citizen participation in public decision-making. However, this was not always the case. Until the end of the Sixties, the area was largely rural. It then underwent significant transformation due to an influx of rural migrants, resulting in the construction of illegal housing, met with inaction on the part of the municipality. In recent years, the problems have
been heightened due to the municipality relocating around 5000 people into this area. Nowadays, it is an isolated, insecure and neglected area of the city.


Problems
Due to the chaotic transformation of the territory, this area now faces two major problems: one concerning social deprivation and the other is relating to property and planning. The social problems experienced here are mainly due to the general lack of educational, social and health care facilities. Social exclusion, conflict and insecurities are also evident as the result of the recent concentration of minority ethnic populations (namely gypsies) who occupy
local social housing buildings.
The other problems are essentially connected to the poor quality of existing buildings, the illegal properties and the absence of urban planning that has resulted in other struggles, such as those relating to public spaces, roads and public transport. In the historical quarter, there are specific problems concerning the old buildings, which have patrimonial value yet are deteriorating day-after-day due to the lack of private and public financing.


Potential
This area spans a heritage site which represents the historic military defensive system of Lisbon (Linhas de Torres and Ameixoeira Fort), and the Ameixoeira Historic Site (historic farms). These can be rehabilitated in order to enhance local heritage and to encourage the involvement of the local population, using these common references. On the other hand, the project of the Green Belt Park can transform the area into leisure space; not only for the appreciation of the local population but to be used by the population of the city at-large and
neighbouring municipalities. The openness of local people, and their involvement with a common development strategy, is also a huge consideration which cannot be overlooked.
Finally, it is important to take into account the existing development projects in the area, such as the construction of the new Music School in Ameixoeira.



Vision, chances for realisation and drivers for change
The stakeholder analysis consisted of several steps: in the first instance, 28 stakeholders were interviewed, including social institutions and enterprises. Some of them are already linked via a group caring for the interests of the Galinheiras area. It was possible to conclude that, in general, there is a lack of networks between the stakeholders.
In addition, stakeholders’ expectations are very low because of previous events and plans that didn’t meet their proposed aims. Although some stakeholders had negative experiences, they are still available and interested in collaborating with the LUDA project. Stakeholders also run their own projects, developing them despite scarce resources, but they continue to require central support and coordination.
Bearing in mind the problems and potential developments identified, we have set the following objectives:
1) To promote urban quality, namely concerning housing, public space, access to housing and the improvement of local facilities,
2) To promote the involvement and participation of local people, specifically concerning the definition of needs and strategies for future development,
3) To promote communication between different groups across the population.


The specific programmes for integrated long-term development are included in a general strategy for the area. This strategy results from the study of three different scenarios for future development of the area, also representing different levels of commitment from the municipality. The analysis was presented at the First Public Meeting for the LUDA Stakeholders, in June 2004.
The ideal scenario is based on a transparent strategy and the work of a team who would plan and manage all events in the area. The strategic theme would be “music” and all the programmes would be developed towards this central idea.
With this “Music Strategy”, the LUDA will also begin to play an important role in the development of the city as music is a factor linked to sophisticated activities, innovation and the development of human beings.
The existing project of the new Music School in Ameixoeira can be transformed into a strategic project for the development of the whole LUDA area, mainly by promoting links between the school and excluded people and also by developing a cluster of activities related to music.
This strategy implies significant participation from residents and stakeholders. In terms of identifying their needs and wishes, their capacities and ideas, the implementation of the strategy will require the creation of small interest groups, focusing on specific problems, and also the establishment of neighbourhood groups.

Projects
As there was no prior consistent planning for the area, the first project of the LUDA Lisbon team will focus on the definition of an integrated plan where it will be possible to identify:
- The priorities
- The actors
- The key/pilot projects
- Time schedules and financing sources
The project of the Green Belt Park will transform the area into a more user-friendly urban space but it will also be the starting point for the development of several activities for local people, such as gardening, management of the space, thematic meetings, music concerts and festivals.


Municipal support for the new music school construction project, Academia de Santa Cecilia, will include the development of several other projects, such as the establishment of a protocol with the school in order to offer lessons and technical support to socially-excluded citizens on the creation of music groups. Other projects under development include the creation of a cluster based on music and the promotion of activities using the skills (such as mechanical skills) and experiences of local people.
In the Galinheiras area, the project aims to influence the core urban structure and design. For that, it will be crucial to have contributions from local people in terms of their needs, preferences and involvement.


  
EVK4-CT2002-00081