Social Housing Buildings: Diagnosis and Construction Intervention Scenarios


  • Teresa Madeira da Silva Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), DINÂMIA’CET-IUL, Lisboa
  • Pedro Marques Alves Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL)
  • Miguel Vasconcelos Magalhães Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL)
  • Maria João Oliveira Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL)


social housing, public space, urban rehabilitation, urbanism


This paper is the result of a study designed to evaluate and diagnose the need to intervene in two social housing complexes (known as "Zona J" and "Pantera Cor-de-rosa"), located in Marvila (Chelas) in the city of Lisbon, and undertaken by a team from ISCTE - Lisbon University Institute, for the IHRU – Instituto da Habitação e Reabilitação Urbana (Housing and Urban Rehabilitation Institute). In its essence, the study proposes a toolkit for the overseeing entities - Viver Marvila (a department of IHRU) and the CML - Câmara Municipal de Lisboa (Municipal Council) – to undertake decisions concerning the future of these social housing complexes. These neighbourhoods, which were designed and built in the 1970s and 1980s, are characterized by their social problems and conflicts, management and governance issues, as well as an advanced state of disrepair and deterioration of the buildings and public spaces. Like other social housing complexes, the population is constituted mainly by individuals with low incomes, large families, elderly and unemployed people, exacerbating the potential for crime and insecurity. In this study, we have tried to address a set of issues concerning contemporary constructive and typological solutions. On the one hand, we aim to meet current building standards and the real needs of the dwellers, and, on the other hand, we seek that these same solutions preserve the unequivocal qualities of the original project. We endeavoured to answer the questions at hand through concrete proposals for spatial reorganization of the existing buildings and surrounding urban spaces.