Lisbon is in an extraordinary time say consultant

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Lisbon is currently enjoying an “absolutely extraordinary time” in terms of urban rehabilitation — the best since the post 1755 reconstruction after the Great Lisbon Earthquake.

According to José Gil Duarte, founder and CEO of Essentia, a consultancy specialising in sustainable tourism and urban regeneration, the current rehabilitation and refurbishment process underway in Lisbon has been “fundamental for the city’s prosperity”.

Essentia is currently organising an international conference on Branding, Property and Tourism on 29 November in Lisbon at the Estufa Real, Ajuda.

“In 2007, according to Lisbon City Council’s own figures, there were around 4,700 abandoned and boarded up buildings because of historic reasons and the non-existent rental market at that time. It was difficult to develop in the historic centre and the Portuguese market was more focused on new build properties” he says.

The property and tourism expert says that a whole number of factors inhibited normal development in the centre of Lisbon.

“Now I would say that we are enjoying an absolutely extraordinary and unique time in our capital’s history, the most urban rehabilitation development since the times of the Marquis of Pombal who rebuilt Lisbon after the Great Lisbon Earthquake in 1755,” he says.

José Gil Duarte points to a flow of in investment without precedence in the historic centre of Lisbon offering a unique opportunity.

“There are some challenges which need to be met as a result of this inflow and we are aware of them and trying to anticipate them and sort them out” he says in a nod to complaints about the “Disneylandation” of the city and the pressures on the existing locals living in traditional neighbourhoods.

More information about The Essentia live #1 Know how Global Brands: Tourism, Destinations and Real Estate Market can be found at