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Ambitious Baixa Chiado project

COMMERCIAL TRADERS and residents living in Lisbon’s historic Baixa Chiado area have welcomed Lisbon Câmara’s “ambitious and audacious” plans to breathe new life into the downtown area.

However, while welcoming the initiatives, they remained concerned about the effects that some of the renovation measures will have on business and daily lives.

Anabela Rocha, President of the Baixa-Pombalina Residents’ Association said that the area “was already an open air shopping centre whose historic and cultural characteristics should be preserved.”

José Quadros, the President for the Association for the Promotion of Baixa-Pombalina said he recognised the aims and merits of the various projects to modernise and spruce up the area, but feared the consequences that years of building works would have on local trade.

Lisbon Câmara last week approved a project to revitalise Baixa Chiado with the PSD, PP and CDS voting in favour, some PS and CDU members abstaining and the Bloco Esquerda voting against.

The co-ordinator of the project, Maria José Nogueira Pinto said she was satisfied that the project was voted through, adding that the câmara needed to roll up its sleeves and get down to work in modernising and improving the Baixa area, which was in need of regeneration.