Production of public space and everyday life in a gentrified area of Lisbon

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During the last decade of the twentieth century, 3.4 km2 of Lisbon’s eastern waterfront was converted from an industrial, commercial and working-class residence area into a high-end residential, office, leisure and consumption complex now called Parque das Nações. Expo ’98 constituted the occasion for implementing this publicly-funded project that is part of the global, competitive and uneven logic that characterizes contemporary urban development. Parque das Nações was envisioned to become a place where residents, workers and visitors could experience everyday life in a stressless and informal manner: its public spaces were planned to be used as relaxing, breathing spaces in the heart of a modern and busy metropolis. Building on the seminal works of Lefebvre (1974) and De Certeau (2005), this article pursues two main objectives: to describe the process of new-build gentrification, triggered by Expo ’98, that resulted in today’s Parque das Nações and to show how its public spaces, although they are excessively planned and controlled, produce and become products of multiple forms of spatial practices, experiences and social interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-175
Number of pages19
JournalPortuguese Journal of Social Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015


  • Everyday experiences
  • Gentrification
  • Lisbon
  • Production of space
  • Public spaces
  • Strategies and tactics


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