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Public Space, Tourism and Mobility

Projects, Impacts and Tensions in Lisbon’s Urban Regeneration Dynamics

Abstract

In the wake of severe economic slowdown during the 2008-2015 crisis, and despite continued constraints on public investment in large scale infrastructure, Lisbon is emerging as one of the most attractive destinations in Europe. Tourism has been driving major spatial, functional and social changes, initially in the city’s historical districts, and nowadays exerts impact across a much larger urban and regional area. Tourism, together with new drivers of the real-estate market, is promoting the renovation of formerly vacant or rundown built stock, taking advantage of a rather fragile socio-economic milieu and changing the face of residential, commercial and public space landscapes.
Recently upgraded transportation nodes and extensive improvements on public space have also played a meaningful role in this process. Central government and municipality rationale have underpinned its role in providing accessibility, “attractivity”, and “heritage valorisation”, aiming to attract young residents after decades of resident population decline. In contrast to considerable public investment in public space and infrastructure, very limited funding or policy has been targeted at maintaining an affordable housing and real-estate market: thus leaving much of the public investment return to the private sector. Criticism of gentrification and “touristification”, rising housing prices, and pressure on infrastructure is growing accordingly.
The paper provides insight into aspects of this process, with a focus on the relational aspects of mobility upgrade, public space renewal and inner-city urban regeneration. Several urban projects are mapped and broadly characterised in their spatial and functional relationship with tourism. An interpretative framework that combines them with the forms of territorialisation and the main conflicts and tensions is offered as a contribution to the ongoing discussion. Conclusions point to the complex and powerful role that public space and mobility infrastructure play in the impact of territorialising tourism: as supports for better qualified, multi-scalar and shared urban spaces and as drivers of a more balanced, diverse and socially-inclusive urban tourism development.

Published:
Pages:29 to 56
Section: Space
How to Cite
Santos, J. R. (2019) “Public Space, Tourism and Mobility”, The Journal of Public Space, 4(2), pp. 29-56. doi: https://doi.org/10.32891/jps.v4i2.1203.

Author Biography

Universidade de Lisboa
Portugal Portugal

Architect and Assistant Professor of urbanism and urban design at Lisbon School of Architecture, Universidade de Lisboa (Master and PhD levels); Degree in Architecture (2002), MSc in Urban and Environmental Regeneration (2005), PhD in Urbanism (Lisbon School of Architecture, TU Lisbon, 2012); Post-doctoral scholarship (AUSMIP Plus Programme) at The University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, Prof. Ohno Hidetoshi Laboratory, 2013/2014.
His research interests include urban design and planning, especially in the field of metropolitan studies with a focus on the relationship of infrastructure with public space and socio-spatial development. He is Coordinator of URBinLAB – Urbanism and Territorial Dynamics, a research group affiliated with CIAUD - Research Centre for Architecture, Urban Planning and Design. He serves as Researcher at several international funded research projects: i.e. Softplan, NoVoid, iWrecks. Coordinator of AdaptPolis research project at FA: adaptpolis.fa.ulisboa.pt.
Has been awarded the Metrópoles Ciência 2016 Prize, by his research on Lisbon Metropolitan Area, the TU Lisbon’s/Caixa Geral de Depósitos Junior Researchers Prize in 2011, the Honorable Mention for TU Lisbon’s/Caixa Geral de Depósitos Junior Researchers Prize in 2010, and the Europan Europe First Prize in 2006 (as co-author).

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