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Editorial 41

Maria Assunção Gato e Ana Rita Cruz

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12020 is coming to an end, a year that will be marked in global history by the COVID-19 pandemic and its destructive effects on all dimensions of life in society, with thousands of victims who did not resist the disease. But this year's conclusion is also one of hope, with the first global vaccination campaign already taking place in many countries all over the world. Scientific and technological research is certainly to be congratulated on the rapid and efficient response it has produced, demonstrating how important cooperation and knowledge-sharing is for the advancement of science in general, and of all scientific fields in particular.

2The theme that inspired the dossier for this issue is a clear demonstration of the scientific intertwining of several knowledge areas committed to the search for answers towards a more sustainable urban planning. For its part, the volume and quality of the articles raised by the launched call not only proved the interest this topic arouses in the scientific community, but also the urgency to include broader audiences in the reflection and discussion of the timeless issues involved. The dossier “For a more sustainable urban planning”, organized by Teresa Marat-Mendes and Patrícia Bento d’Almeida as guest editors, comprises seven articles and three interviews which, as a whole, offer diverse perspectives for analysis and discussion on subjects that interfere with urban planning and sustainability. Notwithstanding the fact that some of the texts share a research project as a common basis for inspiration, their attention spread over different focuses, albeit in a complementary way.

3In addition to the thematic dossier, this issue comprises four other articles, two essays and a book review. The first article, “Two urban intervention projects in comparison – the trajectory in the SAAL and IBC processes” is authored by Mariana Cicuto Barros and proposes a comparison of two Portuguese urban intervention programmes directly linked to housing policies, at two different time periods. The analysis of these programmes also provides a basis for some parallels with examples of participatory processes in Brazil, allowing for the demonstration not only of cross-cutting features of the programmes between the two countries but, above all, the relevance that their mentors and technicians can assume (or not) in their implementation.

4The second article, authored by Sílvia Jorge and João Tique, transports us to an African country, Mozambique, also retaking housing policies as the central theme, “Fund for housing promotion for whom? Analysis of its impact from the case of the Metropolitan Area of Maputo, Mozambique”. Along other qualities, this article has the merit of presenting a good overview of one of the many problems that affect most of the Mozambican population, the lack of decent housing. Despite the analysis being focused on the Metropolitan area of Maputo, the difficulty in accessing the right to housing is transversal throughout the country and public policies are still far from achieving a satisfactory response to meet the scale of the problem.

5Still on the subject of housing, the third article takes us to South America to portray processes of struggle for housing in Buenos Aires, Argentina. “«I did not want to be uprooted after so many struggles»: a study from the spatial mobility approach about the configuration of the territorial anchorage in a disputed area” is authored by Mercedes Najman and exposes the social and territorial complexity that frames housing issues, showing the relevance that mobility and residential trajectories assume in peoples’ lives, especially the most unprotected and deprived ones. Departing from the territorial dispute as a central theme, the author presents a broad analysis on the Argentine metropole, bringing to light concepts that may find applicability in other territorial contexts, such as the locational capital, for example.

6The fourth article offers the analysis of a substantially different theme and in a still little-known territorial scenario, which is the case of Turkey. “Towards a solidary form of publicness: circulation of cultural assets between alternative cultural organizations of Istanbul and their micro public(s)” is authored by Gökçe Sanul and focuses on the broad processes of change underway in Turkey through the cultural spaces of the city of Istanbul and its audiences. The circulation of tangible and intangible cultural assets provides the ground for an empirical analysis of issues that go beyond the domains of art and culture, demonstrating the relevance of alternative urban and cultural spaces in the expansion of social and political struggles.

7The following section presents two distinct essays. “From dead stones to living practices: from material heritage to the relevance of intangible heritage” is authored by Manuela Reis and provides an excellent framework for the concept of heritage and its pathway in Portugal, in recent decades. To do so, the author critically explores the practices and policies that have guided heritage issues and their categorization, questioning the presence and absence of various social agents in the processes of recognition and safeguarding, especially of intangible heritage in more remote territorial contexts.

8The second essay, from Ana Carolina Louback Lopes, is entitled “Cinema and the city interacting: crossing paths between the film exhibition and the transformation of the ways of life in São Paulo”, and explores the relationships between film exhibition activity and the dynamics of transformation of lifestyles in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. The historiographic approach focuses on different periods of the city’s evolution, establishing links between socio-spatial dynamics, cultural consumption, city production, ways of life and cinema. In the end, the author raises a provocative question that invites us to rethink not only the role that cinemas have assumed in the urban public space, but also cultural consumptions in general and what they represent as formation and citizenship expression.

9Finally, in the book review section, and wading back into the sustainability issue, Márcia R. Lopes brings us A future history of water, by Andrea Ballestero. It presents an ethnographic work conducted in Costa Rica and Brazil, where the author exposes the difficulties in access to water and a whole tangle of political, economic and cultural issues that emerge between people and this vital resource to their lives.

10Closing this editorial, we are pleased to announce a new feature of CIDADES, Comunidades e Territórios. Given the increasing volume of submissions to this journal and considering that timely publication is becoming more and more crucial in research, we have decided to introduce the ‘ahead-of-print’ modality. This means that, from now on, we offer electronic publication of accepted peer-reviewed articles prior to final publication on a completed issue. These papers can be cited using the date of access and the unique DOI reference. This new feature grants subscribers the ability to access the very latest articles accepted for publication in CCT, while authors also benefit from greatly reduced lead times between submission and publication of articles.

11Lastly, we would like to reinforce here a message of gratitude to all the authors and reviewers who, in these particularly troubled times, have contributed to the realization of this issue. In addition to our best wishes for good readings, we would like to add extra hope for a much better 2021 for all.

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Maria Assunção Gato e Ana Rita Cruz, «Editorial 41»Cidades [Online], 41 | 2020, posto online no dia 30 dezembro 2020, consultado o 26 janeiro 2021. URL:

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