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Maria Assunção Gato e Ana Rita Cruz

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1The current issue, the 37th, embodies a transition for CIDADES, Comunidades e Territórios. A new editorial team is taking place. Maria Assunção Gato and Ana Rita Cruz, the new editors, embraced the challenge of editing the journal for the next three years, 2018-2021, which covers the next six issues. The editors will count with a renewed editorial committee (Ana Vaz Milheiro, Madalena Matos, Paula André, Pedro Costa, Renato Carmo, Virgílio Borges Pereira) and the editorial assistance of Mariana Leite Braga.

2As a starting point, the editorial team of CIDADES, Comunidades e Territórios (CCT) have defined a set of goals for this period. Goals that result mainly from the needs to raise the visibility at national and international levels, to update the structure of the journal, and to increase the scope of contents of CCT. For this to happen, concrete actions are being already undertaken in three dimensions : i) publication structure, were two new sections (“Polyvalent Section” and “Policy Briefing”) will be added from the next issue ; ii) peer review process, which is being improved, so the revision process can be shortened and do not conflict with the issues publication schedule ; iii) indexing and archiving, in order to enlarge the comprehensiveness of indexing and archiving services of CCT.

3This transitional period justifies, to a large extent, the absence of a thematic dossier in this issue. However, the following issues will resume the regular presence of a thematic dossier organized by invited editors, anticipating “The State of Housing : crisis, policy and policies” as thematic dossier for the 38th issue, to be published in June 2019.

4Refocusing on the current issue, a selection of six freely submitted articles and a book critical review are presented, reflecting the broad diversity of thematic interests and disciplinary approaches that characterize the CCT identity matrix. The first article, “Cities, Systems and Structures : an ontological approach to urban studies”, authored by Rodrigo Nicolau Almeida sets the tone, through a deeper and useful reflection around ontological issues in urban studies. Framed by an extensive literature review, the author develops a conceptual discussion focused in the question “what is the urban ?”. This starting question leads the reader through a demanding argumentation based on several ontological perspectives, whose one of the main aims is to demonstrate the need for bringing urban research under a common framework, internally and in relational terms with other scientific fields, as it is demonstrated by the methodological and reflexive model of analysis proposed by the author.

5The second article, “Housing in ‘Intramural Favelas’ : considerations on new forms of urban expansion in contemporary times”, by Claudia Seldin and Juliana Canedo, brings us to the very specific context of urban favelas of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil. This text brings to light important issues concerning informal cities, such as the various social inequalities that are at their origin, while allowing a more humanized and complementary understanding of the favelas as spaces of housing, sociability and culture. In addition to the ‘visualization’ of an almost impenetrable reality in terms of the physical and social space, the study developed around the specific case of the intramural favelas of Portelinha, in the Maré Complex, illustrates a scenario that opens several possibilities for discussion, and which goes beyond the preformatted ideas that often emerge about these informal urban spaces.

6The same scenario of favelas in Rio de Janeiro is explored on the third article, intituled “Estetização da violência e construção do lugar-espetáculo no documentário Em busca de um lugar comum”.by Wendell Marcel Alves da Costa. Based on the analysis of a film documentary that explores the image of favelas as a show-place for tourist gaze, the author seeks to identify and analyse the social discourse around urban violence in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro and, through it, discuss also some aspects of Brazilian cultural identity. Between the cinematographic images and the scenarios for tourist consumption, the favelas are perpetuated as marginal spaces, where violence also seems to be exploited as a commodity.

7The fourth article takes us to London, but retains the focus of analysis on artistic expressions deeply embedded in contemporary social issues. “Contemporary artistic claims in the public sphere of the city : Liberate Tate”, by Ricardo Venâncio Lopes, illustrates the interventionist role that art, in a generic way, and some contemporary artistic processes in a more specific case, may assume in the city, either in public spaces, either in spaces of liminality, where power, policies and appropriations are often confused. Some initiatives developed by the artistic collective Liberate Tate are presented, in order to illustrate how the artistic processes can be assumed as instruments of awareness and social protest, as they promote at the same time, new possibilities of debate and discussion in the scope of the public opinion and in the exercise of citizenship.

8In the fifth article, we return to Brazil for a different approach. “Aspectos de gestão integrada de bacias hidrográficas : o caso da área urbana da microbacia do Córrego Água Boa do Município de Dourados, Brasil”, authored by José Henrique Pastorelli Junior and André Munhoz de Argollo Ferrão, brings us a discussion on a natural resource so essential for the sustainability of territories and societies, such as water. With territorial planning as the main focus, the article alerts not only to the need for an integrated hydrographic basin management, but also for a much more active and informed participation of citizens in that management, in order to promote a more sustainable urban development, in Brazil and abroad.

9Finally, “The risks of an irreversible distance. The obsolescence of urban planning in the context of the Delhi Metropolitan Area”, by Sebastião Santos and Maria de Fátima Ferreiro closes this peer-reviewed section of articles. The authors take up the issues of urban planning to draw a broad perspective on Delhi metropolitan area and on the difficult issues affecting the daily lives of its people, with a focus on the most vulnerable socio-economic groups. The article not only addresses the political, social, cultural and identitary peculiarities of a society as complex as the Indian, but also clearly illustrates certain aspects that erode from the political and urban planning practices in one of the most densely populated countries in the world.

10Closing this issue of CIDADES Comunidades e Territórios, in the book review section, Fábio Sampaio presents a critical review of Resilience, Crisis and Innovation Dynamics (Cheltenham (UK) : Edward Elgar Publishing, 2018), organized and edited by Tüzin Baycan and Hugo Pinto. The book is organized into four main parts, subdivided into seventeen chapters. Taken together, these chapters attempt to illustrate various ways of increasing regional resilience in economic crises periods, some emerging difficulties, and how resilience and innovation can be conceptually and empirically related. Several examples and case studies are presented in various regions of the world, emphasizing that the issues raised in this book are of great relevance to the multiple debates that are emerging around the dynamics of innovation and resilience in medium and low-density territories.

11Just one final note regarding the picture that illustrates this 37th issue. The harsh reality of a homeless person sleeping on a street bench, having as a frame (and shelter) a graffiti wall with the quote "Lisbon, city of tolerance" in several languages. The photo was taken by Sebastião Santos in Lisbon, but could have been captured in any other city in the world, where "tolerance" insists on living hand to hand with such social inequalities.

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Maria Assunção Gato e Ana Rita Cruz, « Editorial », Cidades [Online], 37 | 2018, posto online no dia 31 dezembro 2018, consultado o 17 fevereiro 2020. URL :

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Maria Assunção Gato

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Ana Rita Cruz

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