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Rethinking Public Spaces in Waterfront Areas: Notes from Lisbon

Public Spaces: Times of Crisis and Change

ISBN: 978-1-78635-464-8, eISBN: 978-1-78635-463-1

ISSN: 1047-0042

Publication date: 5 November 2016


This chapter explores the use, appropriation, and interaction patterns afforded by the public spaces of Parque das Nações. I discard both the idealized conception of public spaces that characterizes them as havens of diversity and accessibility and the more contemporary idea of public spaces as empty spaces that no longer promote encounters with others, serving exclusively as marketing tools for real-estate developers. Instead, I argue that the production of urban areas such as Parque das Nações is a socially unequal process resulting in excessively planned and controlled public spaces. However, when they attract different populations for different reasons, these spaces might foster unexpected, emergent, or even transgressive uses and interactions that promote public space vitality.




This research was funded by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia with a PhD scholarship (SFRH/BD/37598/2007).


Pereira, P. (2016), "Rethinking Public Spaces in Waterfront Areas: Notes from Lisbon", Public Spaces: Times of Crisis and Change (Research in Urban Sociology, Vol. 15), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 319-344.



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