Lisbon, a changing city

From Urban Arena Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Lisbon was awarded the title of European Green Capital[1] 2020 on June 21st 2018 by the European Commission, in recognition of its urban development towards a more sustainable city for all[2]. So while this does not mean it is Europe’s greenest city, it does mean that it has been implementing some very important changes in recent years. An Expert Panel highlighted[3] that Lisbon is particularly strong in the field of sustainable land use, sustainable urban mobility[4] (transport), green growth & eco innovation, climate change adaptation[5] and waste. The wider city incorporates the Municipality of Lisbon[6] and other municipalities surrounding it, to make up the Lisbon Metropolitan Area[7]. The city's Green Capital 2020 also has its own website[8].

Also in 2018, the European Commission launched a Call for Action for Sustainable Cities that aimed to create a “green movement”[9] to inspire cities worldwide to become more sustainable and climate-resilient (Related PDF[10]). The following year saw the emergence of such a movement, a global climate movement led by the Fridays For Future[11] school children’s movement[12], inspired by Greta Thunburg[13], called Greve Climática Estudantil[14] in Portugal, and the UK based direct action group Extinction Rebellion[15]. A declaration of climate emergency[16] was made by the Portuguese parliament in Lisbon on June 7th after months of heated public meetings[17], street protests, Live TV shows interrupted[18], conference interruptions[19] and road blockages[20]. Many of Lisbon’s “Green Movement” criticise the Council’s “Green Capital” label as an act of Greenwashing[21], due to plans for building the new Lisbon-Montijo airport in an environmentally sensitive area on the southern side of the river after receiving the final green light[22] from the Portuguese Environment Agency in early 2020.

Like many European cities, touristification[23], gentrification[24] and short-term housing are driving up rents so quickly in Lisbon that many locals can no longer afford to pay and are moving out of their established communities in the city centre’s historical neighbourhoods. Portugal has still the lowest minimum wage in western Europe[25], even after a recent 6% rise to 635 euros. In late 2019 Barcelona’s Ara.Cat deemed the city “The new capital of gentrification and evictions”[26]. In response, a growing housing movement[27] has been active in stopping evictions[28], building networks of resistance[29], holding public assemblies[30], making a radio station[31], demanding politicians make change and winning some policy changes[32]. The recent Documentary “What is going to happen here?”[33] paints a vivid picture of the unjust urban change of recent years.


  1. Lisbon, European Green Capital 2020
  2. TheMayor.EU – Тhe European portal for cities and citizens; Lisbon and a more sustainable city for all
  3. Lisbon is the 2020 European Green Capital Award winner!
  4. Cities Today; How Lisbon is reshaping its mobility landscape
  5. ECCA (The biennial European Climate Change Adaptation conference); Lisbon Climate Change Adaptation Strategy
  6. Municipality of Lisbon
  7. Lisbon Metropolitan Area
  8. Lisboa Green Capital 2020
  9. European Commission: European Green Capital Network Launches Call for Action for Sustainable Cities
  10. European Commission: Green Capital Call for Action (PDF)
  11. Atlas Lisboa; Demanding Change: Thousands Flood the Streets at Lisbon’s Global Climate Strike
  12. It's Nice That: This week’s Guardian Weekly is a climate change special designed by children
  13. Women in the world: ‘I want you to panic’: Climate activist Greta Thunberg, 16, lays it on the line for world leaders
  14. Greve Climática Estudantil
  15. Extinction Rebellion Lisboa
  16. Climáximo: Portuguese parliament declared climate emergency – and made sure it meant nothing
  17. Morar em Lisboa report on facebook of September 3rd meeting with Lisbon Council Ministry of Housing, inclusing concern over plans for Montijo airport development
  18. Climáximo (Climate Alert): ALERTA CLIMA: Extinction Rebellion Portugal invade a CMTV
  19. Stay Grounded: “There are no emergency exits” – ATERRA activists interrupt Portugal Air Summit
  20. Observador: PSP retira à força ativistas do clima que cortaram Av. Almirante Reis em Lisboa. Há um detido
  21. Extinction Rebellion Lisboa: We Denounce! LISBON - GREENWASHING CAPITAL OF EUROPE
  22. Lisbob - Expats Assistant in Portugal, Spain and Italy: Definitive green light for the new Montijo-Lisbon airport?
  23. Migration to Portugal: The touristification of Lisbon
  24. New York Times: Lisbon Is Thriving. But at What Price for Those Who Live There?
  25. Reuters: Portugal to raise minimum wage to 635 euros, still lowest in western Europe
  26. Ara.Cat: Lisboa, la nova capital de la gentrificació i els desallotjaments (Lisbon, the new capital of gentrification and evictions)
  27. Acção pela Habitação (Lisbon Housing Movement)
  28. Stop Despejos (Stop Evictions): Uma pressão que funciona: a CML vai dar alojamento às famílias despejadas no bairro bensaúde
  29. Reuters: Protesters denounce gentrification in Lisbon as housing prices soar
  30. Huck Mag: In Portugal, protestors are fighting for housing rights ‘We are being expelled’
  31. Radio Gabriela, Lisbon online Radio Station
  32. Citylab: Portugal Passes ‘Right to Housing’ Law As Prices Surge
  33. Left Hand Rotation: O que vai acontecer aquí? (What is going to happen here?)