Urban Rehabilitation Week sees 14,000 signups
Portugal’s annual Urban Rehabilitation Week was a “great success” according to the organisers of the event which ran between March 29-31 at LX Factory in Lisbon.
The week’s agenda of conferences saw 20 debate sessions and around 120 speakers at the 10th edition of the event which attracted 1,850 participants who made around 14,000 registrations to the various sessions at the event.
The 10th edition covered the largest area yet in terms of space in its 10-year history, with a record number of exhibitors and entities involved: from construction to materials.
Organised by Vida Imobiliária with the support of Lisbon City Council and Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa (a charity that owns a lot of property assets in the capital), the event had two stages, with over 20 sessions of debate and 120 speakers and 15 parallel sessions.
Lisbon Mayor Carlos Moedas, who was present at the last day of the three-day event, called it “an extraordinary success”, and said that Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa was an “incredible partner”.
In his speech the mayor highlighted some of the topics covered by the event such as creating the 15-minute city. “We are working at the Council and very often this (joint partnership) work is not that visible. We have the Council of Citizens bringing in (the opinions) of people who are not in politics with their ideas on the 15-minute city the city.”
Adopting a 15-minute city strategy means striving for an urban model that allows everyone, in every neighbourhood, to meet most of their daily needs within a short walk or bike ride of their home.
It creates a ‘human-scale’ city composed of vibrant, people-friendly, ‘complete’ neighbourhoods, connected by quality public transport and cycling infrastructure for the longer trips that residents want or need to make. It means decentralising city life and services and injecting more life into local areas across the city.
The concept of the 15-minute city is in sharp contrast to urban-planning paradigms that have dominated the past century, which have seen residential areas separated from businesses, retail, industry and entertainment.
Still, many of the ideas and principles underpinning the 15-minute city are not new and many cities, like Lisbon, have been implementing elements of the approach for years, so there is much to learn from their experience and much to build on.
What is new and distinct about the 15-minute city is its integration of a core set of ideas and principles for people-centred urban development.
In addition to the 15-minute city, other topics included simplifying urban planning, the challenges and opportunities of the rental market, and new urban hubs in which to invest and live in Lisbon and its neighbourhoods.
Other topics included sustainability, the circular economy, energy communities, talent attraction and retention, and their direct impact on the city’s office market.
Santa Casa da Misericórdia has a partnership with Lisbon Council to preserve, value and bring in funds from its property patrimony, a large part of which comes from benefactors.
The aim is to renovate and adapt properties which not only can generate revenues, but also help to meet Lisbon’s chronic social and affordable housing crisis by providing homes for rent reasonable charges.