Uproar over planned new car parks in Lisbon’s Baixa Chiado

BOTH THE Citizen’s Forum and environmental group Quercus, are against the construction of new underground car parks in Lisbon’s historic Baixa Chiado.

To construct the car parks, planned for Largo Barao Quintela and Largo Camoes (between Rua das Flores and Rua do Alecrim), would mean that a popular Lisbon park will have to be destroyed and a bronze statue of Portuguese realist writer Eca de Queiroz will have to be moved.  

Gabriela Seara, a source at Lisbon Camara said that the council has already approved the project, which is aimed at easing parking congestion in the area.

In a joint statement, the two organisations, Citizens Forum and Quercus, said they had sent a letter of complaint to the Portuguese Architectural Heritage Institute asking it to immediately throw out the project.

However Lisbon Câmara said that these two particular projects had already been agreed upon from the time of João Soares, and that the project was “perfectly compatible with the overall plans for the area”.

But, the two associations against the project, say it flies in the face of recommendations laid down by Brussels for ‘increased pedestrian mobility in the historic zones of cities’ and due to this, have: ‘sent an urgent appeal to IPPAR to throw out the project.”

“The construction of these car parks will place the foundations of existing old buildings at risk, destroy a green space, and force the relocation of the bronze statue of Eca de Queiros,” they say.

The two entities have also sent a petition to both the Mayor of Lisbon Dr. Carmona Rodrigues and Councillor Mrs. Maria José Nogueira Pinto.