Laboratory of Democracy

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70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights What would society be like without non-governmental organisations? What is the relevance of Civil Society for the protection of Human Rights? The 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration is celebrated, but are all human rights guaranteed for all? On December 10, you will be able to learn about the work of more than 15 civil society organisations that work to protect Human Rights in Portugal.While celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration today, Human Rights are under threat in Europe by the advance of anti-democratic forces. Therefore, on the 10th we will reflect the role,  action and the impact of Civil Society and we will discuss a joint plan between participants and organisations on effective action to protect Human Rights and Democracy at a time when both are threatened. #NoDayWithoutUs is an event (link to facebook) that will bring together […]

No Day Without Us – 70 Years of Human Rights – 10th December


Call for Organisations (Portuguese Civil Society)   As part of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European Civic Forum (ECF) is mobilising itself! NO DAY WITHOUT US is a set of simultaneous actions that aim to disseminate the impact of many civil society collectives working on the protection of human rights. This set of actions will take place in various parts of Europe on December 18, 2018. The actions are being organised by ECF member organisations. They aim not only to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but also to raise awareness of the importance of civil society in defending what this document represents. As a member organisation, the Citizenship Academy is responsible for organising the action in Lisbon. In order to promote the impact of civil society in Portugal, we plan to facilitate an event where members of various […]

NO DAY WITHOUT US!



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 ideals to discuss and to create alternatives towards issues such as urban poverty; the urgency to have more democratic and participative urban planning projects, giving a fair response to the needs of the newcomers and war victims; the privatization or public spaces; and the negative effects of gentrification, were the central issues of this four-day meeting in Amsterdam, at the City Makers Summit, together with so many projects that make the difference everyday, on a local, regional, national and international level.   The citizens-politicians   The idea of city-making is a political movement. A movement that includes anyone willing to claim a city that promotes direct action with a stronger participative power, supporting visible changes on the urban and social programme. Claiming the right to public spaces ( or the heterotopian spaces that Lefebvre used to claim) as a “survival strategie”, we are also confronting all the social and […]

Because the city is for everyone to have it


Between the 27th and the 30th of May 2016, the Pakhuis de Zwijger foundation, in the Netherlands, promoted the meeting of more than 600 activists, coming from the four corners of Europe. Because they are normally involved in democratization actions of the cities, as spaces of inclusion, prosperity and resilience, they are called as the “City Makers”. It was during the “City  Makers Summit” that they met, to talk about the main problems of their cities, and the practices that they have been developing, in order to solve them.     City Makers   Visit to the centre of Zaanstad, which was complete renovated in the last 5 years, looking to offer more inclusion, functionality and visual beauty. This Summit had two main goals. The first one was to provide field trips to participants to Dutch local based projects or initiatives, with actions developed in urban context, regarding the improvement of the […]

Let us make an Europe of Democracy



Synthesis by Igor Marko Photos @ Academia Cidadã and participants of the Master Class   The highly challenging urban regeneration case-study was focused on one of Lisbon’s oldest districts – Mouraria.   Lisbon Masterclass #1 – Exploring Mouraria – site analysis, observation and mapping   Paula Marques, councilwoman for Housing of the Municipality of Lisbon, during the Master Class’s opening   Mouraria originated as a 13th century Moorish neighbourhood and remained a marginal downtown area. Nowadays, parts of Mouraria are affected by tourism, others are still deprived with high levels of migrant population and social housing. Cheap property prices and proximity to other tourist destinations (Alfama, Castelo) raise realistic assumptions that Mouraria will face large influx of investment in real estate and tourism infrastructure, resulting in gentrification.   Field trip to historic centre of Lisbon, promoted by Lisbon Sustainable Tourism   Lisboa Masterclass # 2 – Methods and Processes – […]

Master Class “City Making and 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



April 15 – 22 I Mouraria, Lisbon The project “Tourism Gentrification and City-making” is promoted by Stadslab (Fontys – University of Applied Sciences, Tilburg, NL), in partnership with Academia Cidadã. The objectives of the Master Class are to provide insight into the impact of mass tourism on public space, urban development and the daily urban life of the citizens in Lisbon and to develop alternative scenarios for a more balanced urban development to avoid excessive real estate speculation, social and economic segregation, lack of accessible urban services and public space and disappearance of affordable housing. The intervention area of the Master Class will be the district of Mouraria.   April 18 I 12h00 I Centro de Inovação da Mouraria Lecture: Placemaking and Sustainable Urban Development, by Igor Marko, Marko&Placemakers London FREE ENTRY Relationship to a place is often disrupted through social, political or economic forces with direct impact on the […]

Master Class “City Making and Tourism Gentrification”


“Barcelona? A theme park. “ This is how the documentary that will pass in the next session of Cine-Café touristification starts, on April 19, at 21h30, in Lisboa Vadia. Bye bye Barcelona is the documentary outburst of Eduardo Chibás on mass tourism, where it is debated the relationship between the local life and tourists. Borned in Caracas, Venuzuela, Chibás assumes that he never met the Ramblas of people from Barcelona. He lives, however, long enough to feel the negative impacts of touristification of which is the 4th most visited city in Europe, after London, Rome and Paris, and the leader in the number of cruises that receives from the continent and the Mediterranean. This phenomenon has greatly affected the dwindling number of residents of the center of a city increasingly expensive. Many of the approximately 30,000 tourists who arrive daily in cruises in the city of Barcelona do not see how […]

Free Cinema: “Bye bye Barcelona” I Cine Café Touristification