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Editorial

Maria Assunção Gato e Ana Rita Cruz

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Créditos : Nuno Pires Soares

1The 38th issue of CIDADES, Comunidades e Territórios resumes the presence of a thematic dossier organized by invited editors. In this case, “The State of Housing: crisis, policy and policies” organized by Marco Allegra and Simone Tulumello. The chosen theme could not be more appropriate, not only due to the social and economic circumstances that the real estate market is currently experiencing in Portugal, but especially for the policy package - palliative or not so much - that is now being launched by the Government in an attempt to solve the serious problems of housing. Far from being recent, these problems have been dragging on for several decades in Portugal, becoming more visible and serious in recent times due to a number of circumstances. We can mention, for instance, the globalization of markets and their speculative effects - in particular, the role played by real estate funds and other financial and fiscal instruments in the financialization of real estate assets - as well as the multiple impacts that the huge rise in urban tourism in a short time span triggered in the housing market, already very precarious in terms of affordable and available supply for local residents.

2Besides dealing with an absolutely hot and timely subject such as housing and its policies, this dossier has the peculiarity of doing it in a very complete way, including scientific articles, expert texts and two interviews with policy makers and another one with an association member who, being on the other side of the discussion, closely observes, and with a critical eye, the consequences of these policies.

3Closing this dossier, we should also highlight the Portuguese version of an article authored by Manuel Aalbers and Brett Christophers and translated by Mariana Leite Braga. Focusing on the perspective of political economy, the authors address the essential points of the broad and current debate on housing, thus enriching the discussion in the Portuguese context.

4In addition to the thematic dossier, whose justified dimension represents substantial relevance in this issue, two additional open submission articles and a book critical review are presented. The first article, “Montepio Geral Patios: inheritances and contexts at the Avenida Alferes Malheiro and in the Green Structure of Bairro de Alvalade (Alvalade Neighbourhood) (1940-1970)”, authored by Jorge Rosa Neves and Paulo Tormenta Pinto, highlights the relevance of landscape architecture in the urban production, through a specific case in Lisbon. It is the Alvalade neighbourhood, built between 1940 and 1970, in a period of transition between an architecture marked by the Estado Novo regime and the inspiring influences of the Modern Movement. Despite the several elapsed decades, the Alvalade neighbourhood remains an outstanding architectural reference in the history and expansion of the city of Lisbon, due precisely to the characteristics of modernist inspiration that took shape there. Besides being historically very well documented and illustrated, this article has the merit of extending knowledge about Alvalade with the complementary perspective of landscape architecture, underlining the importance that public spaces and the green structures assume in the qualification of the urban space.

5The second article, “The representativeness of urban mobility in sustainability certifications”, by Bruna Righi Dotto and André Souza Silva, brings us a very different theme from the previous one, but no less relevant to the production and urban experience. Both the mobility and the various issues involved in its certification play an increasingly important role in the broad discussion of urban sustainability, with particular emphasis on public transport. At a time when there is a growing awareness that the process of planetary destruction seems to have no return, discussion of any topic that contributes to reflecting on urban mobility from a more sustainable perspective is welcome, as it is the case of this article.

6In the closing book review section, Nuno Pires Soares presents a critical review of Políticas de Habitação - 200 anos (Lisboa, Caleidoscópio, 2018). Authored by Gonçalo Antunes, this recent work could not be better suited to the theme of the dossier presented in this issue of CIDADES, Comunidades e Territórios. This book, as Nuno Pires Soares refers, “(…) represents the largest research work on Housing Policies held until now in Portugal”. The historical scope and depth dimension of the analysis carried out is complemented by the great investment made by the author in the construction of many original maps that illustrate the work. Privileging urban geography, the author crosses it with other theoretical knowledge contributions to develop in detail and throughout five major chapters such a complex theme as housing policies in Portugal. Alike the various pieces that make up the dossier, this book is undoubtedly an essential reference work for anyone who works on housing issues.

7The picture that makes this 38th issue cover is a photo taken by Nuno Pires Soares which illustrates the semi-private appropriation of public space that still occurs, although increasingly rare, in some of the most popular Lisbon’s neighbourhoods. In this case, the neighbourhood of Bica - Calçada da Bica Grande. This “backside” image reflects a city that is lived through the spontaneous acts of everyday life. Nevertheless, it is also a metaphor for the complex networks of interests and political games that often populate the “backside” of housing policies and of the real estate markets, preventing many people from having access to the city and the right to decent and affordable housing.

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Maria Assunção Gato e Ana Rita Cruz, « Editorial »Cidades [Online], 38 | 2019, posto online no dia 29 junho 2019, consultado o 09 abril 2020. URL: http://journals.openedition.org/cidades/980

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Maria Assunção Gato

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Ana Rita Cruz

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