Social Equity Policies and Spatial Development
Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is a city and distinct municipality with 545,000 inhabitants at the center of a metropolitan area, home to 2,810,000 inhabitants (2011 Census). Its position at the mouth of Portugal’s largest river, the Tagus, which offers open access to the ocean, made Lisbon a prominent and prosperous harbor city with considerable growth in industrial sectors from the late nineteenth century through the 1970s. This expansion was followed by a strong move to a servicebased economy at the turn of the last century, and to tourism in the recent years. Since the early 1980s, Lisbon has grown modestly by about 300,000 inhabitants at the metropolitan level—and while the city proper lost more than 250,000 inhabitants in that time, most of those residents moved to other municipalities within the metropolitan area. Although the city still maintains high levels of economic and job centralization (with almost 400,000 inbound commuters in the city center), other polarities have emerged since the 1990s. The result is a diverse social and functional mosaic, with large tracts of socio-spatial exclusion within the city and metropolitan region and difficulties in accessibility and commuting time.