Master Class “City Making and Tourism Gentrification”

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.


13006456_989275447835455_531317365890795709_nField trip to historic centre of Lisbon, promoted by Lisbon Sustainable Tourism


Lisboa Masterclass # 2 – Methods and Processes – connecting spatial and social networks


The workshop was organised in a series of dynamic group sessions including mapping, constructing urban narratives, field interviews, character building and role play. We have overlaid physical and social networks that form current qualities of Mouraria which will become fundamental in order to preserve authenticity and develop resilience within this neighborhood. Preserving local qualities and character will offset future challenges Mouraria is facing in light of increased tourism.


presentation masterclass3Mapping: textures, spaces and sensuality


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5 hours = 40 interviews, 40 stories


Lisboa Masterclass # 3 – Presentation – findings and opportunities

The week long masterclass culminated in an afternoon of public presentations in presence of the Deputy Mayor of Lisbon, planning officials, local community members and stakeholders.


The obtained results from the Master Class were organized in the booklet Master Class Lisbon 2016 – City Making and Tourism Gentrification.

Watch a 7 minute documentary film about the Master Class by Italian director Fabio Petronilli.





The research findings indicate that negotiation of city making is an ongoing process based on:

  1. Defining qualities of the place recognised by the whole spectrum of local community and stakeholders;

  2. A system of monitoring of change and trends based on live data;

  3. A communication platform to enable inclusive engagement;

  4. Inspirational nature of transformation, both physical and psychological.

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The Master Class “City Making and Tourism Gentrification” could not have been achieved without the active participation of the following partnerspresentation masterclass1

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