Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

WATER- The role of public art in 'Lisbon 1994': an improvement to this city's future

João Pedro Teixeira de Abreu Costa


Being a plural space – in space and in time – the Lisbon riverfront is composed of multiple spaces with its own logic and distinct characteristics, being its pre-existent areas or spaces conquered to the river, located by the water or separated from the river somewhere in time.
At first occupied by the industry of the city, by the port or by the new accessibility infrastructure, this riverfront has known variable dynamics of use through time.
Specifically during the industrial period, a large expansion of the riverfront occurred, resulting simultaneously (1) in the creation of the new port, industrial and urban areas, and (2) on the separation of the former riverfront areas from the Tagus River.
During this period different process of territorial formation occurred:
1. The formation building by building;
2. The structure of pier, street and warehouse;
3. The spontaneous growth supported by corridors of accessibilities (streets and railway);
4. The project of the industrial company;
5. The master plan of the port in front of the city;
6. The industrial allotment;
7. The large and autonomous industrial complex
Within this complex reality, several types of public space were also created, being the axes of accessibility or the structure of squares, both verifying a graduation of different levels of importance.
This article tries to present a typological classification of this reality in the Lisbon riverfront formation during the industrial period.
Later, with the post-industrial transformation of the Lisbon’s riverfront, new public space was also created; this contemporaneous dynamics will be object of analysis in a subsequent publication.
This research is supported by a previous work, focused on the identification of a group of common patterns in the formation and transformation of the riverfront starting in the industrial period; these patterns were identified in the Lisbon case study and confirmed in four other working cases – the riverfronts of Rotterdam, Shanghai, Duisburg and Hamburg.
Studying the territory and its several primary and secondary fonts, it was divided in two parts. The first, specifically, proposed the definition of the seven formation processes of the industrial riverfront – identifying for each its predominant period in time –, and analysed the forms of creation and different characteristics of the resulting public space.
This article is a dissemination of parts of an author’s previous research (2006), the «Riverfront between projects», available in Spanish on:

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