Lisbon City Council wants help from the Faculty of Architecture to move forward with the “15-minute city”

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Lisbon City Council today approved the signing of a cooperation protocol with the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Lisbon, in favor of the requalification of public space, including the implementation of the “15-minute city” concept.

The cooperation between the municipality and the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Lisbon (FAUL) involves drawing up a study to support the requalification of the public space, as part of the municipal program “Há Vida no Meu Bairro” (There is Life in My Neighborhood), which seeks to define actions to promote pedestrian movements within the city’s neighborhoods, inspired by the concepts “neighborhood unit” and “15-minute city”.

In a private meeting, the proposal presented by the Urban Planning councillor, Joana Almeida (an independent elected by the “Novos Tempos” coalition – PSD/CDS-PP/MPT/PPM/Aliança), was made possible with the abstention of the Cidadãos Por Lisboa councillors (elected by the PS/Livre coalition) and the votes in favor of the others, namely the PSD/CDS-PP, PS, PCP, BE and Livre leadership.

Justifying its abstention, the Citizens for Lisbon (CPL) councillor said that the right to walk safely and the universal use of public space has been one of its struggles, considering “the disinvestment in the Pedestrian Accessibility Plan that has been evident in both the options and the municipal budgets of the ‘New Times’ to be worrying”.

For the CPL, what is being discussed are questions of form and not the purpose of this protocol, as well as “the importance of not leaving behind all the commitment and technical quality of the work carried out in this area by the municipal teams”.

Despite voting in favor of the protocol, the Bloco de Esquerda (BE) council warned that the study for the requalification of the public space “pushes the improvement of pedestrian, cycling and public transport conditions to 2026, after the end of the current mandate”.

In a statement, the BE said that the mayor of Lisbon, Carlos Moedas (PSD), who has governed the city for two years (without an absolute majority), “removed BUS lanes, removed cycle lanes, stopped the Pedestrian Accessibility Plan, increased traffic in Lisbon” and now intends to “spend another two years studying to implement none of the necessary traffic calming measures”.

According to the Urban Planning councillor’s proposal, the study to be drawn up under the cooperation protocol with FAUL focuses on “the requalification of public space in terms of walkability” and aims to “contribute to the identification of actions by the municipality aimed at improving walking in the city of Lisbon, thus contributing to an increase in active mobility”.

In this context, the municipality will provide all the tools needed to carry out the study, including data collected from platforms/devices and intelligent solutions whenever they prove necessary, and “FAUL will study the most appropriate methodologies, also benefiting from a real context where students and teachers can carry out their training and research”, the proposal states.

The protocol provides for the municipality to transfer 50,000 euros to FAUL between 2023 and 2025, the period of validity of this collaboration agreement.

At the municipal executive meeting, a proposal for the 45th amendment to the 2023 budget was also approved, following the planned reduction in expenditure, for a total amount of 88,347,632 euros, also because the recourse to loans contracted both to finance expenses arising from the covid-19 pandemic and in the context of World Youth Day was lower than expected.

For the BE councillor, this budget amendment cancels “tens of millions of euros from the 2023 budget, namely 12 million from the Recover+ Program, created to help families, companies and IPSS affected by covid-19 and the floods of a year ago”, noting that this cancellation means “a non-execution of 80% of this social support”.

This proposed budget amendment was approved with the CPL, BE and Livre voting against, the PS and PCP abstaining and the PSD/CDS-PP leadership voting in favor.

Currently, the 17-member Lisbon City Council executive includes seven elected members of the “Novos Tempos” coalition (PSD/CDS-PP/MPT/PPM/Aliança) – who are the only ones allocated portfolios – three from the PS, two from the PCP, three from Cidadãos Por Lisboa (elected by the PS/Livre coalition), one from Livre and one from BE.

Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert is a 55-year-old writer and journalist based in Porto, Portugal. Born in France, he brings a unique blend of French and Portuguese perspectives to his work. Education Hervé studied Journalism and Literature at the University of Lyon in France. After completing his studies, he gained valuable experience working with various French media outlets (Portugal France also). Career He worked for several years as a journalist in France before making the move to Portugal. In Porto, he joined the Portugal Pulse team as a staff writer. Skills Hervé specializes in storytelling, investigative journalism, and cultural commentary. He has a flair for capturing complex issues in a relatable way. Personal Life He currently resides in Porto and enjoys the city's rich culture, from Fado music to Francesinha cuisine. Hervé continues to maintain strong ties to his French heritage, often traveling back to France for family visits and cultural exploration. With his unique background and diverse skill set, Hervé Hubert adds a layered, multicultural lens to every story he covers.

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