EXPO 98: an influence for the Portuguese waterfront developments

EXPO 98: an influence for the Portuguese waterfront developments

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Lisbon, surrounded by river and sea, was the stage for EXPO’98’s theme “The Oceans, a Heritage for the Future”, which aimed to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Portuguese Discoveries, at the same time as it imposed itself the commitment to raise awareness to the vital need of valuing and preserving both maritime wealth and the planet.
International exhibitions are meeting points to assess knowledge and human resources. For Portugal, 98 exhibition was the opportunity to affirm its complete European integration, as well as devoloping a panoply of hidden intentions such as the creation of a new centrality in the city, the environmental requalification and the valorization of the waterfronts, all constituting a fundamental premise to reflect on Lisbon and EXPO 98 cases.
Lisbon has more history than geography, it is a palimpsest, full of continuities and discontinuities, inheriting intentions from various times, which together constitute a heritage for the future. 1998 was also the year when José Saramago won the Nobel Prize for Literature and did his speech “De como a Personagem Foi Mestre e o Autor Seu Aprendiz” . In Lisbon's history, Marquês de Pombal was a master, and Lisbon his apprentice; Duarte Pacheco was a master and Lisbon his apprentice; Expo'98 was a master, and Portugal its apprentice.
Establishing the understanding on how EXPO'98 contributed to consolidate the will of modernization of Lisbon’s riverside front, this article intends to analyze in a broader context the principles and intentions in the pre and post-EXPO territory, never forgetting the still very current theme - “The Oceans, a Heritage for the Future”, the relation between the city and water and the impact of the transformation of urban waterfronts.

Keywords: Expo’98, Tagus River, Waterfront developments, Urban regeneration, Architecture

Corresponding Author

Elodie Marques


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Elodie Marques


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Preferred Track

3. Terrain vague redevelopments

Second Preferred Track

6. Urban policies

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Centre for Socioeconomic and Territorial Studies

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