Still selective after all these years?: revisiting the megaproject of Parque das Nações in 2020

Still selective after all these years?: revisiting the megaproject of Parque das Nações in 2020

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In the summer of 1998, the eastern part of Lisbon hosted the last world exhibition of the 20th century. The inclusion of the Expo'98 venue in 330 hectares of an urban megaproject would allow, from the perspective of those in charge, to bear the costs of the Exhibition and transform that territory, which has always been peripheral and undervalued, into a new urban, multifunctional and distinctive centrality.
This new residential, cultural, leisure and business complex was given the name of Parque das Nações and its singularity was due both to its dimension, projection and construction from scratch, as well as to its speed (about 10 years) and some urban and architectural solutions presented. Therefore, Parque das Nações has received from its promoters the designation of Cidade Imaginada (Imagined City) and in reality, this megaproject continues to have an exceptional character in the country, which is being used in different ways by different "audiences" and users and, above all, by its residents.
Previous works (Gato, 2014a; 2014b) have shown that belonging to Parque das Nações not only meant enjoying the exceptional advantages of a socially selective space of high economic and symbolic value, but also access to the negotiation of social and personal identities, according to the meanings transferred to the lived space. Some years have passed and, in view of the substantial administrative changes that have occurred on the territory, it is necessary to revisit Parque das Nações for a current analysis of the spatial, social and symbolic effects of such changes on the lives and social identities of residents.

Gato, M.A. (2014a). Living in a(n) (un)gated community: Neighbourhood belonging in Lisbon’s Parque das Nações. Mobilities and Neighbourhood Belonging in Cities and Suburbs.
Gato, Maria Assunção. (2014b). Viver no Parque das Nações: espaços, consumos e identidades. Lisboa: Imprensa de Ciências Sociais.

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Maria Assunção Gato


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Maria Assunção Gato


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Preferred Track

7. Urban competitiveness and social challenges

Second Preferred Track

6. Urban policies

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