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Production of public space and everyday life in a gentrified area of Lisbon1

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During the last decade of the twentieth century, 3.4 km2 of Lisbon’s eastern waterfront was converted from an industrial, commercial and working-class residence area into a high-end residential, office, leisure and consumption complex now called Parque das Nações. Expo ’98 constituted the occasion for implementing this publicly-funded project that is part of the global, competitive and uneven logic that characterizes contemporary urban development. Parque das Nações was envisioned to become a place where residents, workers and visitors could experience everyday life in a stressless and informal manner: its public spaces were planned to be used as relaxing, breathing spaces in the heart of a modern and busy metropolis. Building on the seminal works of Lefebvre (1974) and De Certeau (2005), this article pursues two main objectives: to describe the process of new-build gentrification, triggered by Expo ’98, that resulted in today’s Parque das Nações and to show how its public spaces, although they are excessively planned and controlled, produce and become products of multiple forms of spatial practices, experiences and social interactions.
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Keywords: Lisbon; everyday experiences; gentrification; production of space; public spaces; strategies and tactics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: CICS.NOVA, FCSH-UNL

Publication date: 01 June 2015

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  • The Portuguese Journal of Social Science opens a gateway for the international community to engage with a high calibre of academic work in social sciences produced by Portuguese scholarship. Previous to the publication of this journal, this work remained largely inaccessible to an international readership due to issues with language and translation.
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