Neighbours vs Citizens: limits and contradictions of citizenship at urban level

The Cova da Moura neighbourhood, located in the suburbs of Lisbon, is currently facing a serious conflict between two approaches to urban planning. On the one side, Portuguese state institutions are attempting to regulate an area that emerged forty years ago through illegal occupation by immigrants. On the other side, neighbours are opposing to any urban plans proposed by the Portuguese state, and are demanding recognition and urban policies in order to protect the neighbourhood’s cultural uniqueness. The paper discusses in detail this conflict, which highlights two opposite territorialisation planning models: the one that is built on citizens’ status, using Cartesian criteria, and the other which is based on the notion of neighbourship and which relies on the idiosyncrasies of concrete experiences.

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