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Ground for change | Civic Europe
Environment and sustainability, Social inclusion

Ground for change

Promote social cohesion and community health through intercultural activities and tactical urbanism workshops that reactivate urban voids. Building with and for people.


Who is behind this?

Sofia Costa Pinto

EDA - Ensaios e Diálogos Associação


Who is joining forces?

A Sociedade Democrática União Barreirense “os Franceses”


GABV - Grupo dos Amigos do Barreiro Velho


ISCTE - University Institute of Lisbon


A-GRUPA is a network of women professionals in urban planning committed to processes of activation and management of urban space. They will support our team in facilitation activities of the project.


Idea pitch

The presented idea aims to combat the lack of urban hygiene associated with the state of neglect that has compromised community health and the image of the neighbourhood. Through intercultural activities and tactical urbanism actions, it is intended to activate degraded urban voids, promote well-being, civic cohesion and the local population feeling of belonging. The training of citizens, sharing of resources, tools and knowledge aim at community mobilization to solve collective problems.

Where will your project idea take place?

Barreiro Velho (Old Barreiro) - Historic neighborhood of the city of Barreiro, Portugal

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

The main challenges faced by the area revolve around environmental and social dimensions. Firstly, at Barreiro Velho - former city centre, despite its historical and patrimonial value can be found several empty or abandoned properties, which transmits an image of degradation, poverty and lack of living conditions. A high number of vacant lots in the neighbourhood are used as garbage dumps, which compromises community health (a concern reinforced by the current pandemic) and contributes to a negative image of the territory. Secondly, there is the lack of civic cohesion as already mentioned in addition to the vulnerability of the population at the socioeconomic level, the existing social conflicts and the feeling of abandonment all of them contributing to the absence of community responses.

Who are you doing it for?

The main target audience is the socially excluded community that is in a situation of social vulnerability, such as the Roma and African communities and the elderly who are in precarious conditions of habitability and isolation. It is intended to involve all the groups actively in solving collective problems by proposing outdoor community events to celebrate diversity and inclusion.
Due to the intense migratory influx into the area in the past decade, the last official data available from 2007 does not reflect the current social demographics of the neighbourhood. Our work will be directly supported by the LABIC and CLDS’ current data research and local associations network.

How do you plan to get there?

In an inclusive perspective in terms of gender, race, age or social condition, it is proposed to create outdoor community events in the urban voids that can be the stage for intercultural activities. They will be the key piece to promote well-being, requalification of common public space, civic cohesion and the sense of belonging. The starting point is a map of the urban voids produced by ISCTE.
It is intended to create a program to reduce barriers and factors of discrimination, motivate and mobilize the community to build joint solutions. For that, working groups will be composed where civic and environmental education, public health and social diversity will be discussed and a collective intention to intervene in urban voids will be chosen.
The team will lead tactical urbanism workshops to promote low-cost solutions, sharing of resources, tools and knowledge on how to co-create and co-management activities. The population will be trained to build temporary structures that can be shared collectively and transported whenever necessary, visioning the long-term sustainability of the project.
And at last, tactical urbanism initiatives will be used to serve as a stage for the previously decided communal activities. While we will be improving the public space, we will also be empowering people at the technical level and promoting the exchange of tools, resources and knowledge.

What are the expected results?

Once completed the sequence of events and workshops, it is expected that a better and stronger civic cohesion will be formed and the different communities who live in Barreiro Velho are empowered and recognize in themselves and others the feeling of belonging to the area and are willing to cooperate to grow as a community. It is also the goal of our idea that the united community will take the lead in the caring of the public spaces and urban voids around them. It will consequently improve community health, offer more and great outdoor leisure spaces diminishing the isolation of the elderly population and contribute to a positive and proud image of the territory.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

The way to strengthen active citizenship at Barreiro Velho will be through civic educational meetings in which through the use of public spaces, environmental, public health and social diversity concerns will be raised and debated between all the local community. Furthermore, production and management workshop sessions will be placed in order to capacitate the population to better communal work and management of their assets in order to improve the quality of life within the neighbourhood in the long term.

Why is this idea important to you?

The team consists of a female urban planning professional who is committed to processes of activation and management of urban space, active citizens of Barreiro and local associations and public actors. This integrated network of different stakeholders is committed to community mobilization for the joint construction of solutions that aim to improve the living conditions of the most vulnerable in their city, tackling problems of social segregation and discrimination. Furthermore, the intention is to reinvigorate a currently degraded neighbourhood but of extreme value for the city of Barreiro due to its historical and patrimonial assets.

€ 35000,-

Total budget

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

1 Human Resources
1.1 Project Manager 3 500,00 €
1.2 Facilitation 3 500,00 €
1.3 Communication 3 500,00 €
1.4 Producer 3 500,00 €
1.5 Designer Installation 3 500,00 €

2 Execution / Operation
2.1 Installation Material 5 000,00 €
2.2 Transport 1 250,00 €
2.3 Facilitation Material 4 000,00 €
2.4 Food 2 000,00 €

3 Documentation
3.1 Video Photography and Edition 1000,00 €
3.2 Booklet e Reports 750,00 €

4 Administration
4.1 Administrative Costs 3 500,00 €

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We would like to receive contributions about how to engage a diverse community in the creation of outdoors communal events in a post-pandemic context. It also would be great to know how we could use the resources generated by applied methodologies in similar initiatives.



Idea created on April 25, 2021
Last edit on April 26, 2021

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