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Oeiras is also a land of squatter gardens. The previous days served us to follow the course of the Jamor, always inside the county of Sintra. On this day we pass to the other side of the IC19 (complementary itinerary 19) and we arrive at Oeiras.   The river Jamor is born in the Serra da Carregueira (Carregueira hill), county of Sintra, and flows into Cruz Quebrada, Oeiras municipality. It crosses two municipalities, both of Greater Lisbon, making Jamor an urban river, since it is born, runs and flows in a metropolitan area, Lisbon.. This is also one of the most populated regions of Portugal. Dona Maria, Brejo, Belas, Pendão and finally Queluz. This is the route that Jamor does, and that we visited in the municipality of Sintra. On this day we entered the municipality of Oeiras, in Queluz de Baixo. Here the right bank of the river narrows […]

Log Book I Day 7 I How to squat a river


When in the middle of the city the field breaks out The gardens in Queluz are impressive by the contrast they create with the surrounding buildings. It seems that the countryside is invading the city, finally the triumph of nature.   From the promenade that is over the huge plain that accompanies the Jamor, near the train station of Queluz-Belas, there are always many people working the land. On that day, we set up a conversation at the distance with two gentlemen, who, down below, watered with a huge hose what appeared to be baby cabbages. We wanted to know how to get off. They shouted at us that we would have to go to the end of Miguel Bombarda Avenue and enter through an opening between two buildings. We found such opening and walked along a path, along the left bank of Jamor; we saw how the river there […]

Log Book I Day 6 I How to squat a river



Senior squatters between Belas and Queluz. At the entrance of Queluz we learned to apply a new concept: farm squatter.   Mr. Patrício is a squatter at Quinta das Andorinhas. It is a squatting that lasts for more than 40 years, which makes Mr. Patrício (and we affirm it with all respect) a senior squatter. He divides the land, which is private property, not from the state, with at least one other person. This squatter farm is located between Belas and Queluz, but it is not the only one, in the surroundings. There are dozens of other farms squatted on the terraces, well-treated, both down (toward the river) and up (toward the hills). In the case of Mr. Patrício, the Sintra City Council (CMS) made him sign a declaration, in which he undertakes to vacate the land, if there is interest in this, either by the owner or by the […]

Log Book I Day 5 I How to squat a river


Lost in the woods Just outside Belas we found a path through the middle of some squatter gardens.   Regarding the gardens, because of their large size and so well walled they were, we keep thinking that this occupation has been done for a long time. Unfortunately, we did not find anyone with whom we could confirm this suspicion. The path led us up the river Jamor, practically to the area of Lisbon Sports Club, well into Serra da Carregueira.     It did not feel like we were 5 minutes away from the city. Always seeing infrastructures that we identified as belonging to the Águas Livres Aqueduct (yes, what ends up in the Amoreiras, in Lisbon), we walked through the middle of nature. We saw how the terrain is rocky, confirming what Natalina had explained to us on day 1. The gardens were already behind, here nature was already […]

Log Book I Day 4 I How to squat a river



The Jamor, the mines and the golf We made the usual visit to Natália, before we went to see Henrique.   We visited Minas do Brejo (Brejo Mines) and immediately realized its importance in Mr. Henrique’s family economy: watering the agricultural culture, watering animals and, in the past, a source of water for all. The mines also began to help in leisure, when near two of them Mr. Henrique built a space for meals and rest.     Then we went to the Lisbon Sports Club in Belas, where Nuno, the greenskeeper of the golf course, was waiting for us in his buggy. He was ready to take us for a walk along the portion of the River Jamor that runs on the club property. He informed us that they are doing a regular cleaning and maintenance work on the banks, taking advantage of the river as one of the […]

Log Book I Day 3 I How to squat a river


The water of Dona Maria Returning to Dona Maria, we revisited Natália.   She had already done, however, some research to help us over the Jamor River, but none conclusive as to the place of its source, advising us to consult the military letters. There are many water mines in the area, for example one under the main Dona Maria’s square, Largo do Chafariz (Chafariz’s square). He told us that this is the area of Lisbon with greater groundwater, so local ethnography is closely linked to the theme of water: the washerwomen until the 1980’s attended Lisbon with its services, nowadays there are still the water tanks where they were washing their clothes (at the moment the water tanks are in private property, not being able to be visited); the waterbeds went from Dona Maria to Lisbon to sell water. There is a belief that these waters have medicinal properties […]

Log Book I Day 2 I How to squat a river



Looking for the river spring We wanted to start from the beginning, that is, to find the place where the river Jamor rises. This was not easy.   Contrary to expectations, the web doesn’t inform where the source of Jamor is. All that we can find is a vague information about how the river rises in Dona Maria, in Serra da Carregueira, county of Sintra. With a filming camera in hand, we went on this true expedition. And we discovered the following: a) Dona Maria is a very small village in the suburbs of Greater Lisbon, but still preserves very rural characteristics - small farms, unordered houses that lead to small squares, dust roads and many fountains; In Dona Maria everybody knows and / or has a degree of kinship. b) The river Jamor is gaining different names, depending on the place where it passes (Ribeira de Belas, Ribeira do […]

Log Book I Day 1 I How to squat a river


After the XX century trend of squatting houses, we bring to the XXI a new necessity: squatting rivers. By using unsustainable economic models, urban communities have been losing their rivers as a common good. It is urgent to rescue the ancient relationship between both. How to squat a river is a R&D comprehensive learning tool that aims to show how can a community redeem a river for the common good.     The river-city relationship is essential for urban development. The availability of water was always one of the decisive factors for the definitive establishment of populations. With the industrial advance, river-city relationships have changed. There is a functional separation, caused by great works of correction perpetrated to urban rivers, aggravated by the strong levels of pollution of streams and banks. If the larger rivers are now used almost exclusively for economic purposes, the smaller ones, usually extremely polluted, constitute, […]

How to squat a river



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Shortfilm In recent years, Lisbon has become one of the European Cities with the larger tourism growth. Each year, 6 million people come to visit the Portuguese capital: 200.000 tourists every day. Tourism brings opportunities in a city heavily hit by global crisis: about 15% of Portugal domestic product and 8% jobs in Portugal, nowadays are related with tourism. But in the meanwhile, the city is basically disappearing: over the last 30 years, Lisbon lost about 300.000 inhabitants, vacancy rate in the traditional centre is over 40%, about 5.000 buildings are disused, and today only 12.000 persons live in the city center. In April 2016, STADSLAB (Urban Design Laboratory of Tilburg University – Amsterdam) organized an international Masterclass on City Making & Tourism Gentrification for professionals and graduates: the urban intervention case-study was focused on Mouraria, one of the oldest Lisbon’s neighborhood. Originated as a 13th century Moorish neighborhood and […]

Documentary + shortfilm + book: Masterclass Tourism & Gentrification


The film will be screaned with the support of Center for Responsible Travel.     The environmental impact of tourism is the main discussion topic, of our 4th session of Cine Café Turistificação (Cine Café Touristification), to take place in May 17 at 21h30, at the bar Lisboa Vadia, in Lisbon. The Goose With the Golden Eggs, a film produced by the Center for Responsible Travel, examines the environmental impact that resort and cruise tourism brings to the communities living in the Pacific Coast, Costa Rica. With an increasing number of private investments in these areas, as it is the case of the privatization of beaches or the construction of big multinational hotels and gated communities, this documentary’s main goal is to portray the difficulties the population of the Pacific Coast face in order to have access to resources like water (used mainly to “feed” pools and golf courts), access to the […]

FREE CINEMA: “The Goose with the Golden Eggs” I Touristification Cine Café