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
- 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.
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)
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.
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
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
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
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
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