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COVA DA MOURA - Participated Socio-Territorial Intervention

Aimed to the creation of a socio-territorial intervention process in a self-built ethnic neighborhood, through a platform of key actors - specialists and non-specialists (central and local public administration, local residents associations and NGOs working in the field). Developed during the first half of 2006, it produced a joint characterization of the neighborhood, a consensual action plan for intervention and a collaborative management model, as a new form of governance for public urban intervention.

“Spaces of coexistence between the various worlds that share experiences in our current society, neighborhoods like Cova da Moura are living examples of sociability and life lessons in an increasingly individualistic world. At a time, when urban space specialists are concerned with "making a city," they have more to go deep into these societies where the richness is in interpersonal relationships, built up over years in an interdepartmental sharing. "(Diagnosis for Socio-Territorial Intervention, Vol. 1, page 159)

COVA DA MOURA project - Socio-Territorial Participation Intervention Process (2006) aimed promoting innovation in intervention in urban public policies, through new forms of governance. The project was carried out in a neighborhood of the municipality of Amadora and was developed under the Initiative for Qualification and Urban Insertion of Critical Neighborhoods (Council of Ministers Resolution 143/2005, of 2 August).


The project was structured in two components: the Territorial Intervention (coordinated by Jorge Malheiros) and the Social Intervention (coordinated by Lia Vasconcelos), working in close articulation.


The project had, as a central element, a Group of Local Partners (GPL) with decision-making power invested by the government that functioned as an articulating platform between the formal and non-formal contexts, where a diagnosis, an action plan and a management model were developed. These were later contracted by the GPL and the Government. The coordination of the social component, that design and conducted the participatory process, was of the responsibility of the  wTeamUp.

The participation component of the project, under the responsibility of the wTeamUp team, recurred to:


• an Active Interaction Approach, based on holding meetings, professionally facilitated, with the Group of Local Partner (GPL), organizing extended workshops for all stakeholders, and personal contacts with key local community members;


• a Supporting Approach, to deepen the results of active interaction, through the application of mechanisms to reinforce participation, such as: (1) survey / interviews to characterize the partners; (2) creation of Attendance / Continuity Spaces; (3) creating continuity elements with partners;


• a Socio-Territorial Monitoring Approach, for deepening, debate, stabilization and validation (1) of Diagnosis; (2) of SWOT analysis; (3) of Structuring Axes; (4) of Pillars of Action; (4) of Plan of Action; (5) and Management Model.


Interactive techniques and methodologies were used to encourage a dialogue among all participants, promoting an open and transparent discussion, effective circulation of information, and development of conjunct developed solutions. The work developed in each of these spaces of dialogue had its own continuity, built on working documents as they were elaborated so as to gradually develop the diagnosis, a proposal for joint action and a management model.




Vasconcelos, Lia; Helena Farrall (2013) Hidden opportunities in (un)privileged urban spaces: the case of the Cova da Moura, 4th Global Forum in Urban Resilience and ICLEI Bonn, May 31, 20 (


Lia T. Vasconcelos, Governance and Participation – empowering communities for justice and equity, in Citizenship in an Enlarged Europe The Contribution of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Session:  VI Democracy, Citizenship and Participated Governance (Cidesc), April 10-12, 2008, Reitoria da Universidade Nova de Lisboa, (



CITIES AND GOVERNANCE (THE HUMAN DIMENSION) - Citizens Need to Be Involved in Decisions that Affect Them, 26 April 2010, Mediateca - Human Habitat ( -human-habitat-2010? Category_id = 252).


Volume I – Diagnosis for Socio-Territorial Intervention (PT)

Volume III – Participatory Process Memory (PT)

Volume II – Action Plan and Management Model (PT)

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