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Title: Remaking participatory processes in Portugal during austerity : histories, theories, methods, projects
Author: Silva Alpalhão, Maria Luísa
ISNI:       0000 0004 8500 2282
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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This practice-based research explores the role of participatory processes and projects in the spatial and social transformation of neglected urban public spaces in the Alfama and PRODAC neighbourhoods, Lisbon; and in the Beja II housing estate, Beja, Portugal. It focuses on the period between 2012-15, following the financial crisis of 2008, when the country was first subjected to austerity measures. I developed participatory projects under the governmental frameworks BIP/ZIP (Bairros de Intervenção Prioritária/Zonas de Intervenção Prioritária) and ARU/ORU (Áreas e Operações de Rehabilitação Urbana) that comprise the practice aspect of the research. These interventions responded to the phenomena of neglected urban spaces identified by the government. I analysed the projects to clarify the roots of public detachment from the making of Portuguese cities, reviewing the discrepancies in the governmental frameworks concerning citizen's participation. The thesis historically contextualises the projects through a discussion of the design and inhabitation of public spaces in Portugal. It includes a critique of the former participatory programme SAAL (Serviço de Apoio Ambulatório Local), 1974-76, and examines the particularities of the Portuguese situation considering the country's recent transition to democracy. It contributes new thinking on participatory processes, acknowledging the role that specific historical and cultural contexts play in the definition and expectations of what participation can be. A four-axis theoretical framework supports an analysis of the projects. Participation, tackles the different interpretations of the term participation. Neglected urban public spaces, addresses the importance of the collective ownership of the city to prevent neglect. Informal structures, considers the physical and social characteristics of urban interventions acknowledging and understanding what already exists in these sites. Nomadic thinking, discusses the legacy of participatory projects drawing on nomadism as a metaphor for participation as a long-term process. An analysis of the projects' participatory processes, which reflects on the theories informing the practice, elicits a critical guide for the development of future participatory projects.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available