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Spatial practice, representation and meaning of suburban housing estates


Madalena Corte-Real

Maria João Gomes


Large-housing estates are part of the landscape of many suburbs in European cities with a massive construction development beginning in the second half of twentieth century, a model that has been extended to other parts of the world. Nevertheless, there is a multiplicity of features that characterizes these neighbourhoods located in the outskirts of the city. We highlight the diversity of the functional and socioeconomic position of the territories within the metropolitan core, the diversity of resident population, the diversity in settling relationships among residents and between them and the occupied space. From this diversity arises a range of possibilities for social production that can only be preserved and improved by understanding its socio-spatial multidimensionality, namely within the wider urban context.

Against a standardized perspective, the aim, within the scope of production of space, is to look at the specificities of housing estates and their inhabitants in a cultural, social and historical framework.

We are calling for submissions with case-studies around (interrelated) topics:

• The (evolution of) spatial practice, representation and meaning by residents of the housing estates and surroundings;

• The residents’ experience of space, namely how they evaluate their neighbourhood and surroundings;

• The aspects that may contribute to the (positive) development of the housing estate (variables linked to physical aspects of the neighbourhood and surroundings, type of population);

• The place/neighbourhood attachment - relationships between space and social interactions;

• The levels of satisfaction regarding different dimensions (neighbourhood relations, dwelling, housing estate, surroundings);

• The characterization of residents in the face of socio-cultural trends and lifestyles within the scope of global dynamics and local specificities;

• The external representation of these housing estates/neighbourhoods and surrounding area.

Short bio

Madalena Corte-Real

PhD in Urban Studies and a background in Sociology. She is a researcher at DINÂMIA'CET-ISCTE - Instituto Universitário de Lisboa. She has been involved in different projects in the context of the Lisbon Metropolitan Area. The main areas of interest are urban developments and transformations by analysing how a territory is produced and perceived.

Maria João Gomes

Landscape architect with a M.A. in Human Ecology. She holds a PhD in Urban Studies and is a researcher at CICS.NOVA – Centre for Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Nova University Lisbon. Her areas of interest are the social production of space and its evaluation in different urban contexts.

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