Copyright: Américo Simas/CML




Study tour

On 14 March, visitors had the opportunity to visit how Lisbon is applying sustainable solutions in practice such as The Lisbon Drainage Master Plan, aimed to protect the city from flooding by closing the water cycle through the distribution of recycled water for irrigation, cleaning streets and other uses, the Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles Urban Park, centred on people and climate-proof principles, and the Beato Innovation District, which aims to foster entrepreneurship in Lisbon

Lisbon Drainage Master Plan

Read the Visitor Manual - See the Lisbon Drainage Master Plan presentation

The Lisbon Drainage Master Plan (LDMP) is already ongoing (works started in September 2022, and will end in 2025), with the construction of two main tunnels (5,5m internal diameter; 5 km + 1 km long) and other infrastructures (retention/infiltration basins and three shafts with vortex that will link superficial pipes to main tunnel) in order to reduce the frequency and magnitude of floods in the city and minimize potential damages. Lisbon has been suffering from intense and more frequent flood events in the past years. These events negatively affect the tourism industry, and more importantly, cause long-lasting detrimental effects to the city population, its property and heritage. The project is intended to minimize the recurring flooding problem, while increasing infrastructure resilience in specific vulnerable areas of the City of Lisbon, including parts of the historical city centre. 

In preparation for the main procurement procedure a number of studies and preliminary design was carried out by specialists in the field of hydraulic and structural/geotechnical engineering. The type of contract used to choose the contractor was design-build, given the special expertise and complexity of the works, underground and tunnels in urban areas, and the cost of which is closely linked to the construction process.  The winning bid was therefore the one that met the best conditions according to the previously established multi-factor model.

The project is part of the Lisbon Drainage Master Plan 2016-2030, which includes recommendations regarding a number of structural interventions in the city. It will deliver substantial environmental quality improvements, notably increased resilience against damages from high-intensity floods. It introduces another innovation by the use of BIM (Building Information Modelling) and the use of internal pipe tubes to reuse water from Wastewater Treatment Plants into the city centre. It is the largest investment ever made by the Lisbon City Council, The whole LDMP 2016-2030 project costs 250M€. 150M€ is reserved for tunnels

Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles Urban Park

See the presentation

To become a resilient, safe, and sustainable city, highlighting an adaptation strategy to face climate change, Lisbon has invested in consolidating green and blue infrastructure, through the redevelopment of various public spaces.

The Praça de Espanha area had long awaited this redevelopment, which was centred on the renaturing of public space through nature-based solutions aimed at promoting flood peak flow reduction, controlling frequent floods recorded in this location, and cooling the city. This transformation also included the elimination of obsolete spaces, such as the disused Azul market, the relocation of the public transport hub, and improvements to traffic circulation at key entry points into the city.

The result of this transformation is a new continuous green space, the Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles Urban Park. Part of the work on this urban park was put out to international public tender. Twelve design projects were submitted to this competition, and nine of them went on to the next stage. After evaluating the projects submitted in the second phase, the execution project was awarded to the design team NPK - Arquitectos Paisagistas.

As a result an an area of over 6 hectares, a stretch of watercourse was renatured with the planting of riparian vegetation on the banks. More than 1000 trees were planted, along with leisure and recreational areas. Pedestrian paths, playgrounds, and a cycle path with bike-sharing stations were also constructed. This new green area connects the existing Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Garden with the Monsanto Green Corridor. In total, the project covered 11 hectares and involved extending the Water for Reuse network from the Alcântara wastewater treatment plant, which will soon enable the irrigation of the new park with non-potable water.

The design of the new park centred on people and climate-proof principles, allowing the connection of previously fragmented urban areas through a consolidated green infrastructure. This promotes efficient water cycle management, and public space cohesion, enables smooth mobility and accessibility, and establishes continuities between neighbourhoods. The natural watercourse constitutes the unifying element from which a network of pedestrian and cycling paths has been developed, restoring the long-lost pedestrian connection between Gulbenkian and Sete Rios, and promoting access to surrounding neighbourhoods.

Lisbon’s constant commitment to sustainability and resilience was recognized in 2019 when it received the European Green Capital Award.

Beato Innovation District

Placing Lisbon in the landscape of international innovation and entrepreneurship is the primary goal for Beato Innovation District. This project that fosters technology and digital industries was launched by the Lisbon City Council and is managed and curated by Unicorn Factory Lisbon.

Located in the southern wing of the former Military Maintenance facilities, this deactivated Army industrial complex with approximately 35 thousand square meters is strategically positioned between Lisbon's historic center and the modern Parque das Nações.

The space, consisting of 18 buildings of recognized industrial and architectural value, began the restructuring process in 2017. It is expected that these buildings will host thirteen distinct projects, totaling about 60,000 square meters of total area, and 3000 people working from the area.

One of the projects currently in full operation is Factory Lisbon, which hosts various companies in the technology sector, such as Microharvest, a biotechnology startup that transforms bacteria into protein, as well as SIXT, which has its technological innovation department based here. Also located in this building are the Lisbon office of Web Summit, the Interactive Technologies Institute (a research center resulting from a partnership between the Instituto Superior Técnico and the American university Carnegie Mellon), a team from the multinational technology company Inetum, the headquarters of  Unicorn Factory Lisboa, among others.

Claranet, a multinational cybersecurity company, occupies another building, while Praça, which, besides being a dining space, is a showcase and market for about 200 micro and small Portuguese producers, occupies two others. Under redevelopment are Browers Beato, which will be a space for promoting creative industries and a craft brewery, CoRepair, a project dedicated to sustainability and circularity, and Casa do Capitão, which will be a versatile cultural space.

Another important objective of the project is to create a model in urban strategies for sustainability and environmental resilience, materialized in the form of a Living Lab: a pioneering initiative focused on developing new technologies and services to turn the space into a smart campus, while aiming to boost the sustainability of the ecosystem. This commitment to evolving into a continuous living laboratory is manifested in various operations that cover four priority areas: Energy, Buildings, Mobility, and Circular Economy & Environment.

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