Blueprint for a new Lisbon unveiled

news: Blueprint for a new Lisbon unveiled

A SERIES of urban projects that aim to continue bringing Lisbon into the 21st century was unveiled recently.

The ‘Sentir Lisboa’ (Feel Lisbon) exhibition contains blueprints for 125 different urban planning projects that have been outlined by Lisbon Câmara President, Dr. Carmona Rodrigues.

Spread across an area of 600sqm in the council’s headquarters at Campo Grande, the exhibition includes a huge 1:1250 ratio map of the city on the floor in the entrance lobby, surrounded by total global vision of the city for the next few years.

‘Sentir Lisboa’ is divided into four strategic areas of development: Lisboa Viva – the city’s residential districts, Lisboa Activa – the business districts, Lisboa Creativa – the cultural aspects of the city, and Lisboa Inovadora – administrative efficiency and modernisation. The Câmara’s objectives are:

• to plan for the expected rise in Central Lisbon’s population from 560,000 at present to 700,000 over the next 10 years.

• to attract new and innovative business into the city in order to increase its wealth per capita.

• to increase the amount of dormitory From page 1

space per head by six million, representing a 50 per cent increase on 2000.

• to introduce projects aimed at integrating the new immigrant community into the life and fabric of the city.

• to continue to modernise and improve the road and rail infrastructure of the city and, above all,

• to reduce council red tape, and the time it takes for decisions to be undertaken, by one-third.

Among the projects that will become evident in Lisbon over the next decade are the renovation and modernisation of derelict and historic urban spaces, such as Parque Mayer (a new public cultural area), Avenida da Liberdade (smart shops and offices), Terreiro do Paço (Panoramic 1755 Earthquake Museum) and Baixa Pombalina, the city’s museums, Ribeira das Naus (planned EU Maritime HQ) and the Discoverers’ monuments in Belém.

Lisbon Câmara will spend 45 million euros on sprucing up the historic Baixa Chiado area and Largo de Camões. It is also to introduce a series of social, architectural and security measures to improve the image of Intendente, one of Lisbon’s most problematic areas in terms of poverty, crime and drug-related issues.

To attract more tourism to Lisbon, the câmara is to offer incentives to airline carriers and cruise companies, as well as promoting quaint hotels in the historic heartland. It also promises to promote sporting and cultural events on an international level, such as the 2018 Lisbon Olympic bid, and encourage a more cosmopolitan image, while promising to fight poverty and social exclusion.

The câmara is committed to continuing the urban extension of the metro network to reach newer districts on the yellow and blue lines, while improving links with overland air, rail, bus and coach networks.

Other plans include no parking in Avenida da Liberdade, regeneration of the eyesore riverside stretch between Parque das Nações and Cais do Sodré, improvements to the pedestrian area along this stretch and onwards to Belém and modernisation of Príncipe Real and its gardens. Other green areas to be further improved include the city’s green lung, Monsanto, which has nature walks, sporting areas and a concert area for up to 135,000 people.

By April 2005, the 9,100sqm area of the Arco Cego gardens around Praça de Londres will have been completely revamped with 104 new trees and 2,173 bushes, and underground parking facilities. Casal Ventoso, an area also notorious for crime and drug-related incidents, will be completely re-developed and trees, such as oaks and pines, will be planted.

In the sporting arena, Lisbon is to invest in eight new sports centres to join the two new football stadia. These will be at Chelas, Boavista, Casal Ventoso, Olivais and Santa Catarina, among other places.

Carmona Rodrigues said: “The whole point of this exhibition is to make the people of Lisbon aware of the huge projects underway and planned for the city, over the next few years, that will improve the lives of those who live and work here.”

The ‘Sentir Lisbon’ exhibition is open to the public from Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm and runs until March 31. For further information, contact Lisbon Câmara on Tel 213 227 000, Fax 213 227 008 or email: [email protected] Chris Graeme