Urbanização clandestina e fragmentação socio-espacial urbana contemporânea : o Bairro da Cova da Moura na periferia de Lisboa


  • Luís Mendes


«Clandestine urbanization and contemporary socio-spatial urban fragmentation: Cova da Moura’s neighbourhood in Lisbon´s periphery» It is of general consensus in urban studies that when dealing with urban segregation, this term is used to qualify the most evident forms of social division in the urban space. The city is the social and spatial configuration that corresponds to the most evident forms of this differentiation of activities and individuals. Numerous studies have focused on the analysis of urban differentiation phenomena from a particular point of view: that of the location of domiciles. We will focus on how this residential geography and the informal housing market is interesting to the theory of socio-spatial fragmentation of the contemporary metropolis.
The high demographic increase in Lisbon since the 1950s was provoked
by the simultaneous development of different types of migratory movements:
internal migrations with origin in rural areas of inland Portugal, the return
of emigrants from African ex-colonies in 1975-76, as well as, since the mid-
1980s, a higher number of immigrants from African countries whose official
language is Portuguese (PALOP). This has resulted in the growth of housing
demand, unable to be satisfied by the formal market of private and social
housing. As a consequence of this process, there has been a growth in the
needs of this sector and a parallel market has developed to absorb the demand
segments insolvent to the formal market: sub-letting of rooms and household
divisions in lodgements of the city’s historical quarters and diffusion of shads’
neighbourhoods and clandestine housing in Lisbon’s outskirts. The case study
in this text is concerned with the functioning of informal housing market in
Cova da Moura’s neighbourhood, located in Amadora (first suburban periphery
of Lisbon), as factor and condition of reproduction and capital accumulation,
but also production of a increasingly splintered social division in the urban