Transforming neighbourhoods in Portugal
In April 2008, the EEA Grants set off its €3.8 million share of a close to €100 million complex project to combat social exclusion and initiate social change in deprived urban areas in Portugal.
The grant agreement for the €3.2 million project in the neighbourhood of Cova da Moura was signed on 2 April 2008 in Lisbon. The project is part of the Critical Urban Areas (CUA) programme, a close to €100 million urban rehabilitation investment in Portugal, also covering the areas of Vale da Amoreira, and Lagarteiro in the Oporto metropolitan area. Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway also support parts of the Vale da Amoreira project through a €3.2 million grant from the financial mechanisms. Both the financial mechanism supported project parts and the CUA programme are managed by the National Housing Institute.
The coming improvement of living conditions in the run-down urban area of Cova da Moura, housing an estimated 7000 people on 16 hectares, involves inter-ministerial cooperation, civic participation and participation of local authorities. The pilot participatory project holds strong local backing, as the Cova da Moura community is ready to turn around the area's bad public image.
The neighbourhood dates back to the beginning of the 1970s, when lack of housing in Lisbon led large parts of the immigrant population to develop a community of illegal housing in the city's outskirts. Spatially and socially segregated, the area and its inhabitants have struggled with the dispute over the occupied land, precarious housing situations, insecurity due to drug sale and criminality, as well as social exclusion.
The manifold project aims to legalise the area's land ownership, laying the ground for social and economic sustainability, and rehabilitate the community's basic infrastructure such as electricity, gas, roads and telephone lines. Local residents will be able to participate in a multitude of social and educational activities, and the project has a strong focus on support to activities that could strengthen local entrepreneurship and employment. In order to further improve the neighbourhood's image, the number of local cultural festivities and events will increase and an old wind mill will be restored.
Initiative "Qualification and Rehabilitation of Critical Urban Areas" - Vale da Amoreira
Environment and sustainable development
Type & project assistance:
National Housing Institute
Type of institution:
Grant agreement date:
04 January 2008
The purpose of the Project is to improve the quality of life of the Vale da Amoreira neighbourhood by empowering residents and improving living conditions, with the overall objective to improve the social, economic and infrastructural situation in degenerated urban areas in Portugal. Reference is made to the application, dated 14 December 2006. As well as additional information provided by the Focal Point dated 12 February 2007, 27 June 2007, 20 July 2007, 25 July 2007, 22 August 2007 and 19 September 2007.
The completed Project shall include the following activities and results:
- Build a multi-service centre to be used as a community centre and for artistic experimentation;
- Technical support through setting up a local office, seminars and training including e-learning activities;
- Create a social support platform by setting up a multidisciplinary family support system; and
- Artistic intervention of the facades of residential buildings.
The Project Promoter is the Instituto Naçional de Habitação, INH (Portuguese National Housing Institute ).
The Focal Point shall ensure that the Project Promoter provides at least 15 percent of the estimated eligible Project costs.