The morphological impact of municipal planning instruments on urban agriculture

The case of Lisbon’s Greater Area



urban agriculture, Municipal Master Plan, urban and rural soil, urban morphology, Lisbon's Greater Area


With the growth of urban population, humanity faces new challenges concerning urban food provision. Urban planning is paramount to guarantee a sustainable functioning of the several systems which operate within the urban realm, including the food system. However, while it is widely acknowledged that urban planning would benefit from the integration of urban agriculture, which operates at the production stage of the food system, it is less clear what are the morphological impacts of planning instruments on urban space, in terms of urban agriculture. This paper tries to address this gap, while focusing on one particular area of Portugal, Lisbon and its surrounding territory (Lisbon’s Greater Area). The proposed methodological approach aims to trace the perception of urban agriculture by municipal planning instruments (Municipal Master Plans) and identify their impact in contemporary urban agriculture solutions. It concludes that current planning regulations in Lisbon’s Greater Area are specifically focused on morphological solutions that give preference to urban agriculture uses related to leisure and aesthetic solutions, in determinant of design solutions that tackle economic growth or ecological diversity.

Author Biographies

Ana Mélice Dias, Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Engenharia

Master’s in Architecture (ISCTE-IUL) and Researcher at CITTA – Research Centre for Territory, Transports and Environment, having colaborated in the project SPLACH (DINÂMIA’CET-IUL). She’s particularly interested in the sustainability driven transformations currently taking place in the urban morphology. Her research areas include the urban food system and, recently, urban mobility.

Teresa Marat-Mendes, ISCTE-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

Teresa Marat-Mendes is an architect (Faculty of Architecture of the Technical University of Lisbon, 1994), with a M.Sci. in Land Use Planning and Environmental Planning (Faculty of Sciences and Technology - New University of Lisbon, 1999)and a Ph.D. in Architecture (University of Nottingham, 2002), with the Thesis 'The Sustainable Urban Form. A comparative study in Lisbon, Edinburgh and Barcelona.' Teresa is an Assistant Professor at the Departament of Architecture and Urbanism at ISCTE-IUL and a researcher at DINÂMIA'CET-IUL, Centre for Socioeconomic Change and Territorial Studies. Teresa has collaborated with several research projects and postgraduate courses with different international university institutions. Teresa was a Visiting Professor at BARCELONA TECH -The Universitat Politécnica da Catalunha(2011) and at the QUEENSLAND UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY - Austrália (2013). Teresa is a member of the Scientific Council of the International Seminar on Urban Form (ISUF), and of the Scientific Commission of the Portuguese Network of Urban Morphology. At present she is the Presdient of PNUM, the Portuguese Local representative body for ISUF, Rede Lusófona de Morfologia Urbana. She is also a member of the editorial board of Revista Cidades, Comunidades e Territórios and Revista de Morfologia Urbana. Teresa coordinated at DINÂMIA'CET-IUL the research Project MEMO - Evolution of the Lisbon Metropolitan Area Metabolism. Lessons towards a Sustainable Urban Future, financed by the Portuguese Science Foundation - PTDC/EMS-ENE/2197/2012. Currently, she coordinates at ISCTE-IUL the research team of DINÂMIA'CET-IUL for the research Project SPLACH - Spatial Planning for Change, financed by Portugal 2020 funding.


Assembleia da República (1998), “Lei n.o 48/98,” Diário da República, I-A, 148(august), pp. 3869–3875.
—— (2014), “Lei n.o 31/2014,” Diário da República, I, 104(may), pp. 2988–3003.
AVAAL (n.d.), Associação para a Valorização Ambiental da Alta de Lisboa,, accessed July 8, 2018.
Cabannes, Y., Raposo, I. (2013), “Peri-urban agriculture, social inclusion of migrant population and Right to the City: Practices in Lisbon and London,” City, 17(2), pp. 235–250.
Câmara Municipal de Almada (2013), Hortas de S. João, Costa da Caparica, Câmara Municipal de Almada, Almada.
—— (n.d.), “Hortas Municipais da Quinta do Texugo, Charneca de Caparica,” Câmara Municipal de Almada, Almada.
Câmara Municipal de Cascais (2015), “Revisão do Plano Director Municipal de Cascais - Aviso n.o 7212-B/2015,” Diario da República, II, 124(june), pp. 17450- (5)-17450- (63).
—— (2016a), Inauguração da Horta Associativa da Adroana.
—— (2016b), Plano de atividades e orçamento 2016, Cascais.
—— (2019), Cascais Ambiente,, accessed January 11, 2019.
Câmara Municipal de Lisboa (2012), “Revisão do Plano Director Municipal de Lisboa - Aviso n.o 11622/2012,” Diário da República, II, 168(august), pp. 30275–30377.
Câmara Municipal de Loures (2015), “Revisão do Plano Director Municipal de Loures - Aviso N.o 6808/2015,” Diario da República, II, 117(june), pp. 16339–16391.
Câmara Municipal de Odivelas (2015), “Plano Director Municipal de Vila Odivelas - Aviso 10014/2015,” Diario da República, II, 171(september), pp. 25446–25500.
Câmara Municipal de Oeiras (2015), “Revisão do Plano Director Municipal de Oeiras - Aviso n.o 10445/2015,” Diário da Repúblicario da República, II, 179(september), pp. 26462–26480.
Câmara Municipal de Vila Franca de Xira (1993), “Regulamento do Plano Director Municipal de Vila Franca de Xira,” Diario da República, (64), pp. 1260–1271.
—— (2009), “Revisão do Plano Director Municipal de Vila Franca de Xira - Aviso n.o 20905/2009,” Diário da Repúblicario da República, II, 224(november), pp. 46954–46995.
Cancela, J. (2014), A Agricultura urbana na operacionalização da estrutura ecológica municipal. O estudo de caso do Parque Agrícola da Alta de Lisboa, FAUL-IUL, Lisboa.
Cohen, N. (2014), “Policies to support Urban Agriculture: Lessons from New York and Detroit,” in: A. Viljoen, K. Bohn (eds.), Second Nature Urban Agriculture. Designing Productive Cities: Ten Years on from the Continuous Productive Urban Landscape (CPUL City) Concept, Routledge, London, pp. 138–145.
COST (2012), COST | Urban Allotment Gardens in European Cities - Future, Challenges and Lessons Learned,, accessed January 10, 2018.
Delgado, C. (2018), “Contrasting practices and perceptions of urban agriculture in Portugal,” International Journal of Urban Sustainable Development, 10(2), pp. 170–185.
DGT/MAAC, INE, PORDATA (n.d.), PORDATA - Densidade populacional,, accessed April 19, 2020.
Dion, C., Laurent, M. (2015), Demain, França.
Domingues, Á. (2019), “Our Environmental Built Context,” in: Science for Life - Environment, Energy and Health, INEGI - Instituto de Ciência e Inovação em Engenharia Mecânica e Engenharia Industrial, Porto.
Howard, E. (1902), Garden Cities of To-Morrow, 2014th ed., Project Gutenberg.
Incredible Edible Network (n.d.), Incredible Edible Todmorden | Pictures,, accessed December 17, 2017.
London Assembly Planning and Housing Committee (2010), “Cultivating the Capital: Food growing and the planning system in London,” London.
Lopes, R. (1990), Planeamento municipal e intervenção autárquica no desenvolvimento local, Escher, Lisbon.
Marques, T.S. (2002), Dinâmicas territoriais- Portugal na transição do século XX-XXI, Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto.
Mélice Dias, A. (2018), The Shape of Food: An analysis of urban agricultural shapes in Lisbon’s Greater Area; Socializing with Food: Paredes’ Pedagogical Horta, ISCTE-IUL.
Mélice Dias, A., Marat-Mendes, T. (2018), “Formas urbanas contemporâneas: O caso das hortas urbanas nos municípios de Cascais e Lisboa,” in: PNUM 2018 A Produção Do Território: Formas, Processos, Desígnios, Porto, pp. 176–191.
Ministério da Agricultura do Desenvolvimento Rural e das Pescas (2009), “Decreto-Lei n.o 73/2009,” Diário da República, I, 63(march), pp. 1988–2000.
Ministério do Ambiente Ordenamento do Território e Energia (2015), “Decreto-Lei n.o 80/2015,” Diário da República, I, 93(may), pp. 2469–2512.
Ministério do Equipamento do Planeamento e da Administração do Território (1999), “Decreto-Lei n.o 380/99,” Diário da República, I-A, 222(september), pp. 6590–6622.
Ministérios da Qualidade de Vida da Administração Interna e da Habitação Obras Públicas e Transportes (1982), “Decreto-Lei n.o 208/82,” Diário da República, I, 208(may), pp. 1402–1407.
Morgan, K. (2014), “The new urban foodscape,” in: A. Viljoen, K. Bohn (eds.), Second Nature Urban Agriculture. Designing Productive Cities: Ten Years on from the Continuous Productive Urban Landscape (CPUL City) Concept, Routledge, London, pp. 18–23.
Pothukuchi, K., Kaufman, J.L. (2000), “The food system: A stranger to the planning field,” Journal of the American Planning Association, 66(2), pp. 113–124.
Presidência do Conselho de Ministros (2020), “Resolução do conselho de Ministros n.o 7-B/2020 - Ratificação do PDM de Sintra,” Diário da República, I, 36(february), pp. 3946–3949.
Reynolds, R. (2008), “The Movement,” in: On Guerrilla Gardening: A Handbook for Gardening without Boundaries, 1st ed., Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, London.
Viljoen, A., Bohn, K. (2014), “Urban agriculture on the map: Growth and challenges since 2005,” in: André Viljoen, K. Bohn (eds.), Second Nature Urban Agriculture. Designing Productive Cities: Ten Years on from the Continuous Productive Urban Landscape (CPUL City) Concept, Routledge, London, pp. 6–11.
Vitiello, D., Brinkley, C. (2014), “The Hidden History of Food System Planning,” Journal of Planning History, 13(2), pp. 91–112.
(2014), Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, Milan.
World Health Organization (n.d.), Global Health Observatory (GHO) data,, accessed June 20, 2020.






Dossier Articles