Lisbon committed to speeding up planning permission
Lisbon’s City Council’s planning chief has pledged to speed up the time it takes for the municipal council to deal with planning applications, the slowness of which has been a bugbear for over 20 years.
Addressing investors in the real estate business at the annual French property show MIPIM, Joana Almeida, the councillor in charge of Urban Planning said that it would clear the backlog of applications and stressed that city hall was committed to attracting investment to the Portuguese capital.
The council officer was speaking at a conference organised in partnership with Iberian Property (Grupo Iberinmo), and the APPII (the Portuguese Association for Real Estate Developers and Investors) and Invest Lisboa, the city overseas investment agency, which took place on March 15 in Cannes.
Joana Almeida admitted that “knowing how to plan new projects isn’t enough, it is essential that we maintain our commitment with our public and private partners, meeting deadlines and the time forecast to get planning permission.”
The planning executive said that the council was committed to getting “fast-track licensing by improving the efficiency in the licensing process, as well as maintaining a “frank, open and frequent” line of communication with both applicants and citizens.
Transparency was also was one of the core pillars of the mayor’s current mandate with a system that can “monitor and see the processes in real time”.
Joana emphasised that Lisbon is “the city of opportunities, with an R&D centre which has been one that has most grown in Europe, with a special focus on technology, startups, and a buoyant real estate market”.
Lisbon has over 1,000 hectares of land today ready for development for new residential neighbourhood projects, large public infrastructures, and economic hubs.
“We have a clearly defined strategy to implement the existing instruments of planning with agile intervention units which will enable the efficient development of strategic neighbourhoods”, said the councillor, who highlighted 55 hectares that will be included in existing Execution Units.
“We hope to be able to complete the planning of a further 104 hectares by the end of this electoral term”,
Joana Almeida also said that the council was focused on strengthening urban cohesion by creating new centres, some of them anchored in the regeneration of existing ones, modernising them, while taking advantage of excellent accessibilities, and developing large municipal plots of land for mixed-use neighbourhoods with the emphasis on creating housing for the middle classes.