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Editorial

Pedro Costa

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1This 35th issue of CIDADES Comunidades e Territórios opens with a mini-thematic dossier entitled “Living Mobilities”, organized by Catarina Sales and Renato Carmo. This short dossier draws upon a call for papers launched in the sequence of the interdisciplinary international seminar “Viver em/a mobilidade: Rumo a Novas Culturas de Tempo, Espaço e Distância”, held at Minho University in November 2016, and comprises three articles, in addition to the organizers’ introduction. In this introduction, the organizers contextualize the thematic dossier and its purposes, which are related to the need to acknowledge the discussion on mobility as a social phenomenon in Portugal and to highlight its role in the construction of contemporary ways of life, particularly in the creation of asymmetries and inequalities. The first text, “Uma abordagem interpretativa aos usos dos meios deslocação e transporte nas mobilidades casa-trabalho: Um estudo exploratório (d)na Cidade do Luxemburgo”, by Heidi Martins and Emília Araújo, aims to show how people experience daily commuting in Luxembourg. Exploring a set of personal narratives of people working in Luxembourg, the authors evidence the symbolic and semantic nature of the relationship people establish with each mean of transportation, as well as the motives for their preferences, arguing that urban public policy should take into account personal experiences, representations and evaluations about the means of transportation as well as about times and spaces of mobility, in general. The second text, by Susana Kralich and Verónica Pérez, “La evolución del transporte alternativo en la Región Metropolitana de Buenos Aires: un indicador de procesos de estratificación de la movilidad”, brings us a discussion about the evolution of mobility in the Buenos Aires metropolitan region, in Argentina, and the way it is related to the expansion of stratification processes. Drawing on diverse empirical data, the authors explore the hypothesis that a stratified mobility phase has been consolidated in the Buenos Aires metropolitan region which, along with processes of socio-territorial segregation, reinforces the pre-existing fragmentations. With the goal of describing and interpreting the emergence and consolidation of alternative transportation in the region, the study provides an overview of the main characteristics of daily mobility, from the 1970s to the present referred to both, traditional and alternative mass modes (legal and illegal), considering the broad political guidelines, urbanization processes and sociodemographic characteristics prevailing in the different sectors and districts that make up the metropolis. Finally, the text brought by Cristiana Carvalho and Catarina Sales Oliveira, “Uma leitura de género sobre mobilidades e acessibilidades em meio rural” leads us to rural territories and to gender issues. The article addresses the issue of rural mobility and accessibility from a gender perspective in the context of a small village in Beira Interior, in hinterland Portugal, arguing that contrary to what could be expected, some mechanisms are found to counterbalance the pre-expected inequalities between men and women in mobility, such as the fact that although women less frequently hold a driving license or own a vehicle, they are the most frequent users of other mobility resources, whereby the mobilization of social networks represents an important factor.

2Outside this thematic dossier, five additional articles, on a diversity of subjects, are presented in this issue, as result of the permanently open call for articles of CIDADES, Comunidades e Territórios.

3Gustavo Sugahara, on “A Critical Approach to the Demographics of Ageing: The Case of Oslo” brings us a discussion on the ways a critical approach to the demographics of ageing, one that acknowledges the diversity of perspectives that can be adopted to define old age, and actively highlighting the importance of context and relationships to define age and old age, can contribute to a better city planning. Arguing that city planners’ and urbanists’ inadequate use of demographic assessment of ageing might generate policies that can ultimately work against older persons’ interests, Sugahara cites Oslo, Norway (analysed on different scales) as an example of the array of available approaches to assess ageing of a specific population. Contrary to the general assumption that Oslo will face an “elderly boom”, the author shows that the city’s ageing process today is less intense than observed in the past, and draws some implications, in the light of this critical approach, to urban planning.

4Rohit Revi, on “Post-Graffiti in Lisbon: On spatial localization and market absorption”, discusses Lisbon’s City Council policies towards graffiti and street art as an interesting case illustrating the inroad into the processes that underlie the market absorption of graffiti. He argues that Lisbon’s urban policies enabling specific spatial locations, and even a spatial concentration of graffiti and graffiti-making practices in Lisbon, facilitated market activities surrounding graffiti. Providing all involved agents – graffiti-makers, public regulators and emergent market activities – with heightened security, safety and a greater audience field, this action facilitates the shift to “post-graffiti”, as it enhances the conditions that turned iconographical aesthetics into a virtue and a greater necessity. It is in this sense that Revi argues that the post-graffiti shift in aesthetics must be understood within the context of institutionalization of street art enabled by urban interventions and by contemporary capitalism.

5The article “Requalificação de espaços residuais portuários”, co-authored by Caroline Zenato and André Souza Silva, discusses the regeneration of riverfront areas, specifically brownfield port areas, analysing two controversial and very discussed cases of urban regeneration in two Brazilian cities: Porto Maravilha, in Rio de Janeiro, and Cais José Estelita, in Recife. The authors aim to identify sustainable strategies for the requalification and economic restructuring of urban voids located in port areas, in consideration of communities’ interests. Departing from the analysis of the polity practices and regulatory instruments related to the ‘City Statute’ and from the discussion of the role of urban marketing in the strategies of urban regeneration, the authors confront the two cases arguing that port urban voids’ recovery crucially depends on integrated urban planning, centred on the social and cultural needs of communities rooted around the intervention area.

6Felipe Anitelli’s article, “100 Vezes Habitação Social: Edifícios reabilitados ou com potencial de reabilitação na região central de São Paulo”, proposes a mapping of opportunities for urban regeneration in the central area of São Paulo, in Brazil. The author’s normative approach to the subject aims to confront public policies with unused and deteriorated buildings and their rehabilitation potential to convert them for social housing use. The author introduces and classifies about 100 buildings located in downtown São Paulo, including rehabilitated buildings and buildings with rehabilitation potential, and suggests a typology to organize and to catalogue rehabilitation opportunities, evidencing juridical-administrative and economic-constructive potentials under ten building classes. His ultimate purpose is that it can be used to support and format housing policies and help informed decisions for municipal public administration.

7Finally, the article “As transformações urbanas nos últimos doze anos no centro histórico de Vila Nova de Gaia - continuidade territorial com o centro histórico do Porto e desafios patrimoniais no processo de turistificação”, by Mariana Abrunhosa Pereira, brings us the discussion about some of the challenges posed to contemporary cities by touristification processes, drawing upon the case of the historical centre of Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal. In effect, Gaia’s historical centre can be seen as a continuity of Porto’s one, as the historic centres of Porto and Gaia, while divided by administrative borders, have a territorial continuity. The paper addresses the recent urban dynamics and transformations in Gaia, including the ones that occurred in the port wine cellars, which occupy about 60% of Gaia’s historic centre. The author argues that, in a short period of time, the fast spread of a large amount of accommodation, restaurants and other spaces of consumption is gradually leading to a new monofunctional urban zone. In the light of these changes, a discussion is raised over the current interventions on buildings’ structures and their implications in terms of a certain sense of “loss of authenticity”, as refurbishments have increased and demolition of buildings has been observed, and the traditional identity of the historical centre is being challenged by the irreversible effects of these changes in the historic ensemble of the area.

8Closing this issue of CIDADES Comunidades e Territórios, in the book review section, Manuel Villaverde Cabral offers a review of Arquitectura Popular: Tradição e Vanguarda / Tradición y Vanguardia (Lisboa: DINÂMIA’CET-IUL, 2016), edited by Paula André and Carlos Sambricio. The book, a collection of 7 individual chapters, preceded the editors’ presentations and debates the so-called popular architecture and its link with the “established” and “avant-garde” architecture, diffused essentially from the international modernist movement. The book discusses the role of popular architecture, between tradition and the experimental, with special reference to the cases of 20th Century’s Portugal and Spain and their long-term dynamics.

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Pedro Costa, « Editorial »Cidades [Online], 35 | 2017, posto online no dia 31 dezembro 2017, consultado o 29 fevereiro 2020. URL: http://journals.openedition.org/cidades/545

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Pedro Costa

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