Also appears in: On-going, Spatial Justice

The housing theme (re)emerges in the political and mediatic agendas as one of the main global priorities, as shown by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development or the Urban Agenda for
the European Union (2016), reflecting a world housing crisis. Whatever the specificities of each context, this symptom results from the consolidation of global housing financialization process.
More than a human right, housing tends to be read as a commodity and a financial asset, hindering access to adequate housing for an increasing part of the urban population and, consequently, worsening its general housing conditions. Considering the current urban scenario, the European Union announced in 2017 a future Agenda for Housing, underlying the necessity of a better articulation between the European policies and the housing policies of its member states. In Portugal, the government launched a New Generation of Housing Policies (2018) and it defends the universal access to adequate housing, through the ‘First Right’ – Housing Access Support Program (Decree-Law no. 37/2018), engaged to resolve the housing precarity in the country. Unlike its predecessor, this program presents a broad sense of habitat and a wide range of housing solutions based on integrated and participatory approaches. Following this inflexion, this research proposes a critical and reflexive lecture of the processes and projects carried out in the scope of the ‘First Right’ program, evaluating their contribution to a more spatial justice, from the policies and projects developed, to their implementation and space appropriation. It aims to inform more inclusive and sustainable policies and practices committed to universal access to an adequate housing, at the European and national levels, in line with at least two goals of the 2030 Agenda: 10. ‘Reduce inequality within and among countries’; 11. ‘Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’. Given these goals and targets assumed, the proposed research could contribute to: new ways to read, plan and project housing models and typologies; new theoretical and methodological frameworks in light of the spatial justice; underline innovative and sustainable urban housing solutions.


Silvia Jorge

SIZA baroque

“Siza Barroco” é um projecto de investigação que visa pôr em evidência a relação entre a ideia de Barroco e a obra de Álvaro Siza. O que com este projecto se pretende é, justamente, pôr à prova esta possibilidade interpretativa que, a nosso ver, trará ganhos de conhecimento consideráveis na compreensão: do método de projecto de Siza, do seu percurso ao longo do tempo, do metamorfosear da sua obra ao longo desse tempo e da própria metamorfose dos seus projectos. Cientes de que a colocação lado-a-lado da ideia de Barroco e da arquitectura de Álvaro Siza trará também ganhos de conhecimento do lado da revelação do que é afinal o Barroco, cremos, igualmente, que a investigação programada será uma ocasião particularmente fecunda para compreendermos mais e melhor o que tem sido descrito, com certa relutância do autor, enquanto “o génio de Siza”. Desdobrar – à maneira de Deleuze – a obra arquitectónica de Siza e procurar, primeiro, observá-la e, depois, dá-la a ver através de uma lente barroca é o objectivo primeiro e último da investigação proposta.


Ana Tostões

MiLAND - The impact of migration on landscape identity in an urban and a rural context

The interactions between people and their surroundings play an important role in the construction of their identities. We know the landscape we live in, we interact with it daily and in doing so, we make it our home. Feeling at home in our surroundings plays an important role in our quality of life. People sometimes struggle severely with being displaced when for example peoples’ landscape is being turned into a nature area or when people have to flee their home due to war. Even when people voluntarily migrate, it often proves a struggle to settle in their new surroundings. The places in which people have lived previously, shape how they are connected to the landscape they live in. Migrants for example often value features in the landscape which remind them of their home. Also, people’s cultural background and values shared with the local community have an impact on how they perceive and value their surroundings. Major differences between how migrants and natives view their landscape can contribute to segregation. This research will, therefore, address these issues, investigating differences in how migrants and natives identify with the local landscape and trying to uncover underlying factors that influence the effects of migration on people’s landscape identity. This research project is divided into four different phases: participatory landscape character assessment, focus groups, surveys, and in-depth interviews. These steps will be applied in rural and urban areas in both Belgium and Portugal to understand the processes of landscape identity formation across different contexts.


Isabel Loupa Ramos
Fátima Bernardo

SIZA_3CITY - Habitação colectiva de Álvaro Siza: projetos, contextos e vivências (Porto-Lisboa-Nova Iorque)

The general aim of this project is to study the transformations in Siza’s collective housing over the past 5 decades, focusing on the linked analysis of: a) the projects (social and private housing) and the respective social and urban condition framework; and b) their residents and the relationships they develop with the projected space. The research follows an intensive methodology: comparative study of 3 Siza’s cases/collective housing projects. Each represents a moment on the architect’s professional life and corresponds to a moment in the life of society and the city; the 3 together, and their temporal sequence, represent (part of) Siza’s trajectory and that of contemporary society and of the city. The cases are: 1. Bouça/Porto – started following the 1974 revolution. Symbolising the Revolution, Architecture and the Right to the City when it was in decay; 2. Terraços de Bragança – Chiado, Lisboa, started in the 1990s. Symbolising the national real estate boom, modernization launch and procrastination of urban renaissance; 3. Building 611 West 56th Street – Hell’s Kitchen, New York, began in the 2010s. Symbolising hyper-globalisation, the rise of the city, financialisation of real estate and the incontestability of the value of architectural authorship. The greatest innovation in the proposal is in the temporal sequence of the 3 cases, which allows us to answer the following questions: what has changed in the production and appropriation of Siza’s houses and how do these changes relate to social transformations and the architect’s career? Who promoted the housing at the different times, locations, to what end and for whom? What are the formal, functional and contextual differences/similarities between the projects? How have transformations in the urban context impacted on the occupation of dwelling in social, use and value terms? What is the social profile of residents, their evolution and differences between cases? How do these residents live in Siza’s houses? Why do they choose to live in Siza-Pritzker houses, and what does it mean?


Alexandra Alegre (co-PI)
Teresa Valsassina Heitor

BRIDGE - Bridging science and local communities for wildfire risk reduction

BRIDGE is an action-research project aimed at developing an approach to integrate different forms of knowledge and action in order to reduce wildifre risk. Local populations are not mere repositories of information from generalist information campaigns. Rather, they hold experiential knowledge that should be crosschecked with scientific information for a more detailed risk assessment. In the action plan, rural fire risk mitigation measures need to be incorporated into local governance logics and the daily routines of forest users.
At the methodological level, the development of this integrated approach will be implemented through a participatory-action research (PAR) applied to a specific territory, Monchique region. Participatory action research is understood as a process by which science and scientists, regional and local governance agencies, decision-makers and public officials, communities and local leaders cooperate with the dual objective of: i) assessing the vulnerabilities and resources of their territory; and ii) identifying the various risk reduction alternatives. This local involvement is a way to build knowledge with the community, raise wildfire risk awareness and foster a more enduring commitment with wildfire risk reduction policy. BRIDGE’s
participatory action research will be applied to a pre-selected pilot-area, Monchique region, and will comprise two major moments: one of participatory socio-territorial diagnosis and a local capacity-building process embodied in the form of a collaborative laboratory. The activities developed in the collaborative laboratory of BRIDGE (Innovation Lab for CBDRR) will be materialized through the adoption of collaborative methodologies, namely the participatory mapping. The involvement between local communities, local/regional technicians and scientists will occur through the construction of a local scaled map where relevant elements for wildfire risk management, such as socio-ecological vulnerabilities, local resources and capacities, will be identified. This map will subsequently be adapted to digital format so that it can be used for other purposes, such as spatial planning and wider public awareness.The development of BRIDGE will be ensured by a consortium of three institutions, respectively the Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), coordinator of the project, the Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil (LNEC), and the University of Algarve (UAlg).


Maria do Rosário Partidário
Isabel Loupa Ramos
Rute Martins