This playground is situated next to the former SAAL initiative of Carlos Botelho and a BIP/ZIP that was launched in cooperation with Agha Khan foundation PT and SCML and would be a good spot for a street art intervention.
Since 2012 the formation of a BIP/ZIP committee is confronting the stigmatization of deprived neighborhoods, such as those of Vale de Chelas, taking into account the problems triggered by the hasty rehabilitation programs. The BIP/ZIP committee intends to break with the stigmatization and aims to break the poverty cycle by involving the local community in the active contribution of building a new image of their residential environment.
“Recusamos chamar-lhes “bairros críticos”, pois assumimos que o papel dos poderes públicos é combater e prevenir as desigualdades, não estigmatizá-las. (…) Propusemo-nos contrapor a essa
visão “descendente” uma nova e mais rica visão “emergente”, que partisse dos bairros, das associações e dos cidadãos. Acreditamos que a cidade deve ser feita não apenas para as pessoas, mas sobretudo com as pessoas e pelas pessoas.”(António Costa et al.)
Through a lucky coincidence a diagnostic by Agha Khan foundation, with the objective to tackle the major necessities of the population in antiga quinta da currlaeira coincides with the launch of the BIP/ZIP program.
“A partir deste diagnóstico nós pusemos as ações em marcha que iam ao encontro as necessidades [questões do espaço público, da segurança, da ocupação dos tempos livres para as suas crianças e jovens] da população. Passavam por esta requalificação do espaço público, ehm, na altura em que nós começámos, foi uma feliz coincidência – a câmara lança o programa BIP/ZIP […].”(Queiroz 1)
The BIP/ZIP program funds requalification projects in BIP/ZIP areas that do not exceed a limited amount of time, generally a year. “[…] cada BIP/ZIP isoladamente candidata-se a um financiamento anual.” (Queiroz 2) Generally associations active in a BIP/ZIP neighborhood can apply for these fundings.
In antiga quinta da curraleira the independent intervention in each of the five BIP/ZIP neighborhoods doesn’t follow an holistic intervention plan, although the five social housing neighborhoods share a common past and have the same origins. Hence ,according to Telmo Reis – a youth monitor from SC – the separate interventions of the BIP/ZIP committee have provoked/ triggered ambivalent even conflicting opinions and lead to discrepancies.
He claims that some of The BIP/ZIP initiatives have been carried out in a rush and the arbitrary placement of the interventions has not contributed to bring the neighborhoods closer together.
Pedestrian walks throughout the vale have generally stayed without proper illumination and promote the feeling of insecurity on the streets. A Children’s playground, that we pass by during the tour, doesn’t provide sufficient safety measures and the sand of the sandboxes is not protected and is thus spread all over the path. Sarcastically Telmo mentions the exaggeration of parking possibilities that do by far exceed the demand of its inhabitants that often do not even possess cars. Likewise he is sceptical about the “intergenerational sk8 park” in Bairro Horizonte, doubting that the dull atmosphere of the concrete construction will ever lure many people here. In his opinion the park is placed too far from the heart of Antiga Curraleira1 to ever become the intended social gathering point. It is considerable to mention that Vale de Chelas makes part of two parish councils – Freguesia [parish council] do Beato and Freguesia da Penha da Franca – and that therefore opinions on what is the the heart of Vale de Chelas diverge. (– Map)
The diverging opinions regarding the priorities of intervention and an unclear vision of the neighborhoods’ future have made collaboration between all its stakeholders overdue.
In 2014 the BIP/ZIP committee of the CML has therefore decided to gather all public stakeholders (institutions, NGOs, associations) that are active within Vale de Chelas in order to agree on a holistic vision for the future of the zones. “Foi nessa medida, fruto dessa dinâmica que existia, que a Câmara aproveitou lugar para complementar a intervenção naquele território que deu atenção ao programa USER.” (Queiroz 1)
1Antiga curraleira is the former slum neighbourhood situated within Vale de Chelas