First International Conference of Young Urban Researchers (FICYUrb)
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Tiago Castela

Urban Planning Practices and the Economy of Spatial Illegalisms: “Clandestine” Neighborhoods in the Lisbon Area, 1960-2000.

Tiago Castela
Dept. of Architecture, University of California at Berkeley

     Full text: Paper removed by author
     Last modified: May 16, 2007
     Presentation date: 06/11/2007 11:30 AM in ISCTE-II C201
     (View Schedule)

This paper explores the relations between the production of excluding and exceptional urban spaces and understandings of citizenship in late Twentieth Century Portugal. From 1960 to 1980, over 60 percent of new buildings in the Lisbon region did not receive a building permit. Many were single-family houses self-built by migrant households from inland Portugal, on lots purchased in unserviced suburban subdivisions. By the early 1970s, owners had lost the legal right to build in these so-called “clandestine” neighborhoods. Nevertheless, municipal governments tolerated both subdivision and self-building practices, particularly after the 1974 Carnation Revolution and the swift decolonization process that ended 48 years of authoritarian rule under the so-called “New State” regime. Only after Portugal’s entry in the then European Economic Community in 1986 would municipal government start introducing basic infrastructures in “clandestine” neighborhoods and start timid legalization efforts that have dragged on until the present. Processes of “clandestine” settlement by migrants from rural areas of Portugal seem to have challenged the urban as a bounded political and “cultural” realm articulated with imaginations of a Portuguese imperial identity. Contributing to a reflection on preliminary fieldwork conducted in the Casal de Cambra neighborhood, this paper explores to what extent the production of “clandestine” spaces is associated with the constitution of a de facto inferior citizenship in the context of Portuguese democratization. This paper claims that changes in urban space and in the related economy of spatial illegalisms administered by urban planning practices are integral to conflicting understandings of citizenship in Portugal.

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