The «Erasmus Corner»: Gentrification, emotions and place-making of a nightlife spot in Bairro Alto

Daniel Malet Calvo, Jordi Nofre, Miguel Geraldes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Nightlife economic activity has emerged as a key strategy in the regeneration
of historical quarters. The case of the Bairro Alto district (Lisbon) exhibits
a more gradual and distinct development caused by the marginal and
transgressive practices of nightlife visitors, who have resisted its gentrification
for decades. Some areas in the Bairro Alto (specially the upper side) have
maintained their dangerous character and marginalisation for several years,
even after the 2008 urban reform programme. It is only recently, with the
growing presence of Erasmus students in Bairro Alto, that the upper side
has finally become safe and sanitised through leisure activities. In this
article, the interplay of several social actors (foreign students, municipal
authorities, night-time entrepreneurs and Erasmus organisers) explains the
process of place-making regarding the new Erasmus Corner. The spatial
colonisation of this spot has accelerated social cleansing of the upper side
of the neighbourhood, concluding the district’s night-time pacification.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)778-792
Number of pages15
JournalLeisure Studies
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2017


  • Gentrification
  • Lisbon
  • Erasmus students
  • Place-making
  • Urban change
  • Nightlife


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