USER

USER

On the upper image you can see the USER territory, which includes the 5 BIP/ZIP neighborhoods. The common denominator of all these BIP/ZIPs is that people from the former slum neighborhood antiga Curraleira have been reallocated to either one of these social housing blocks.

In 2014 the BIP/ZIP committee of the CML has decided to gather all public stakeholders (institutions, NGOs, associations) that are active within antiga Curraleira 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.” (Entrevista com João Queiroz da Fundação Agha Khan)

The European USER Guideline gives recommendations and justifies fundings that are related to the improvement of public space and community cohesion within distinctive European metropolitan neighborhoods. URBACT the section of USER related to the re appropriation of public place gives practical proposals for the Ownership of public space, Urban public policies with impact in public spaces, Metropolitan governance, Financing aspects (investments, renewal and maintenance costs), Urban planning and public spaces.

A definition of priorities and the limitation of the intervention zone shall guarantee synergies between all action groups and provide faster results within the social housing neighborhoods.

Começa com a agregação das vontades locais dos parceiros com a ideia de trabalhar em conjunto de forma mais focada e permanente e assim “escalar” de um conjunto de iniciativas ainda algo distantes para um processo de trabalho em cooperação na concretização de uma ideia simples: melhor cidade, melhor espaço público, mais igualdade de acesso aos direitos fundamentais.”(HDL- Habitação e Desenvolvimento Local and SAAL Vale de Chelas 6)

In the case of antiga Curraleira that means to frame a concrete vision for the territory and its community in order to transform the fallow land around to places of social cohesion.(HDL- Habitação e Desenvolvimento Local and SAAL Vale de Chelas 61) Step by step the territory shall be integrated into central Lisbon and barriers that segregate and stigmatize the zone shall be overcome.

However, the principal funding source continues to be the application for BIP/ZIP money, in other words the CML de Lisboa. USER is not a funding alternative but rather a way to bring stakeholders of the community together and improve the community spirit.

Maria Penide from Clube describes the USER impact in the following way:

‘O USER como sentiu eu, não foi tanto um projeto de requalificação. Há outros projetos, sej o BIP/ZIP que está a requalificar aquela zona, seja nos com o projeto do Gubenkian, mas (o USER) era mais um projeto para unir a comunidade e …a possibilidade de dinamizar festas e actividades. E o USER no fim foi um pento de encontro para mirar a comunidade e criar eventos. Por exemplo os produtos finais foram duas festas comunitárias e uma exposição, isto não é nada virada a requalificação, foi mais para juntar as pessoas, para as pessoas participaren, para dar os seus testemunhos.’


Participation and involvement of the residents of Vale de Chelas aims to open the territory and diminish symbolic and physical borders which currently seclude the neighborhood from central Lisbon. Symbolic borders concern the stereotypes and the bad image of the neighborhood. Physical borders concern tangible borders that result from a poor public transport system and a high feeling of insecurity.

A predominance of residential use of the buildings and the low number of public places, leads to an elevated feeling of insecurity and diminishes the feeling of accessibility. The significant aging of population within antiga Curraleira is as well result of poor accessibility and weak economic activity – younger families tend to leave the zones as soon as they can afford to live somewhere else. Finally an absence of hygiene due to omission of local cleaning services doesn’t attract new economic activity.

So far USER convida was the first USER initiative responsible for the launch of a community event, supported by the AAFBAUL through the design of a LOGO by the FCT class (Formação em contexto de trabalho).