AN AMBITIOUS plan to redevelop Lisbon’s riverfront and docklands has been approved unanimously by Lisbon Câmara members.
It means that urban regeneration projects aimed at sprucing up a stretch of rundown and degraded waterfront land between Cais do Sodré station, Santa Apolónia, Ajuda and Belém can now go ahead.
The project includes a new state-of-the-art ferry terminal, new housing, offices and shop complexes, esplanades, bars and restaurants as well as leisure facilities, particularly those aimed at water sport activities.
At an Extraordinary Meeting on Wednesday last week, Câmara members sitting on the Executive voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Tejo Riverfront Regeneration Project.
However, left wing factions made it clear they were not sure that restaurant owner and businessman José Miguel Judice had the right track record to run the new public company set up to oversee the project and lead the Tejo Riverfront Society’s Board of Directors.
Only Câmara members for the Lisbon Citizens’ Movement, Cidadãos por Lisboa, and the left wing Bloco de Esquerda made definitive statements against José Miuguel Judice’s proposed appointment.
“The Câmara doesn’t make statements about other such company appointments such as the Board of Directors of EPAL or the Lisbon Metro,” said PSD member Salter Cid, while Câmara President António Costa added “the Câmara isn’t either supporting or not supporting his appointment.”
Helena Roseta for the Cidadãos por Lisboa said that it was a “scandal” that because of a mere formal pretext, a formality, that Câmara members had decided not to make a formal statement or discuss the appointment of the company’s Board of Directors, which effectively made the appointment of José Miguel Judice as company president a fait accomplis.
She also said that Judice should declare his other public interests and added that the Strategic Document for the Riverside Redevelopment lacked a “cohesive vision for the future”.
“You just can’t regenerate the riverfront without examining the physical and institutional boundaries between the Port of Lisbon and the city,” she said.
José Sá Fernandes (BE) said he would vote against José Miguel Judice because he didn’t “know Dr. Judice’s qualifications and experience in running public companies”.
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