VALIS – Study and Strategic Plan for Lisbon’s Urbanistic and Architetural Heritage Preservation, in the Relation with Social and Economic Development

The entry of the country in the European Community has given the capital new challenges and opportunities for integration and competition. A study in the late eighties by DATAR – Délégation à l’Aménagement du Territoire et à l’Attractivité Régionale on European cities, hierarchically ranked Lisbon in the fifth position, but outlined that the city needs to evolve more towards functional qualification than demographic.

Over the centuries, Lisbon has enhanced itself by its heritage and reasserted itself as a finisterra of different cultures’ middle ground. Many of its assets are classified, and there are a few that were worthy of integration on the list of UNESCO for World Heritage. In an Europe, which calls for the development of the identity of its regions and its cities, such as a mainstay of competitiveness, the recovery and the continuing appreciation of the architectural and urban heritage of Lisbon has now become a challenge and a requirement for a higher international profile.

The study, prepared as a response to a request by the European Commission – DGXVI, outlines a strategy for preserving and enhancing the built heritage of Lisbon, in line with the social and economic development of the city.

Structured in several steps (systematic survey of the existing assets, classified and to be protected; strategy definition with specification of the degrees of intervention, the money to invest and the main areas of intervention), it led to the elaboration of three detailed plans for the main priority intervention areas of Chelas, Alcântara and Centro (the three valleys of Lisbon and potentially the “Three Downtowns” of the city). Seven strategic interventions were also defined, designated as “Portas Aldeias de Lisboa” and recommendations were made for the rehabilitation and restoration of sixty-four buildings with inadequate use.

Project data

Intervention Area

Municipality of Lisbon


DG XVI of the Committee of European Communities




Urban Enhancement Programme