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2016 Lisbon, Portugal

2016 Lisbon. City-Making & Tourism Gentrification

In this international Master-Class a group of 15 professionals and students engaged in a highly challenging urban regeneration case-study in one of Lisbon’s oldest districts. Mouraria originated as a 13th century Moorish neighbourhood and remained a marginal downtown area. Nowadays, parts of Mouraria are affected by tourism, others are still deprived with high levels of migrant population and social housing. Cheap property prices and proximity to other tourist destinations (Alfama, Castello) raise realistic assumptions that Mouraria will face large influx of investment in real estate and tourism infrastructure, resulting in gentrification.

Watch a 7 minute documentary film about the Master Class by Italian director Fabio Petronilli. The full documentary (35 minutes) won the Public Prize at the Lisbon Architecture Film Festival on October 16.

Read the Master Class book, with results and many essays on gentrification and city-making in Lisbon.

Master Class (April 15-22)

City-Making is the complex domain of creating meaningful results in a real-world collision of different stakes in the urban planning and urban regeneration process. It is increasingly a mandatory competence for designers and planners to be able to reconcile conflicting spatial claims into an integrated design and decision-making process. Decisions on interventions in the public domain typically derive from long and complex political processes and include public dialogues and participation. To act successfully in the co-creative city-making process, architects and urban designers need to be strategic thinkers, weighing the different stakes in city planning.

In an international multi-disciplinary team, we applied research and design competences to envision and visualize urban regeneration scenario's aiming at a balanced urban development to avoid excessive real estate speculation, social and economic segregation, lack of accessible urban services and public space and disappearance of affordable housing in Mouraria. The outcomes have been presented in a public dialogue amongst diverse public and private stakeholders, including citizens and community organizations.

The 8-day program (April 15-22, 2016) consisted of field trips, interviews, lectures, dialogues and design work. Supervisors were London based architect Igor Marko (Marco and Placemakers, London, UK) and Marc Glaudemans (Director of Stadslab). Additional experts (professor João Seixas and professor Luís Mendes) have provided specific input in the preparation phase and during the Master Class and acted as a peer panel to reflect on the results of the Master Class. The participants were young to mid-career professionals with a background in architecture, urban planning, urban design, urban studies or related disciplines. The team consisted of both local and international participants and experts.