Intervention of the Polis
Programme in Agualva-Cacém
The intervention of the Polis Programme in Cacém has the purpose of diminishing the tension that exists between the city’s vitality and the urbanistic disarray of the town centre. The method of operation has consisted in introducing different elements that organise the public space, which have resulted in an increase in mobility, habitability, productivity and sustainability.
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© CacémPolis, SA
The Polis Programme is a nationwide initiative that deals with environment-related issues concerning the structuring of the urban system framed within the 6th European Environmental Action Programme (EEAP) 2002-2012. This is a programme with a strong environmental content, committed to the reconstruction and requalification of new urban centralities. The Strategic Plan for this intervention was born as part of a trend towards urban requalification and environmental valuation that in recent years has been increasingly implemented in different cities in Portugal in order to ensure quality of life and optimal environmental conditions. With regard to management, it seeks to give shape to regional and territorial development policies and to concentrate efforts on revitalising the competitiveness of cities, reinforcing their role in the reorganisation of the territory and improving the quality of life of the inhabitants.. The main issues that the plan has to tackle are expansion-driven urban planning, the disorganised growth of suburban areas, the accelerated breakdown of the urbanistic heritage and a variety of problems linked to the increasingly chaotic vehicle traffic.
The challenges facing the city of Cacém are the valuation and improvement of environmental quality through the support of any initiative that involves increasing the green areas, promoting pedestrian zones and effectively regulating the traffic. This is a programme committed to new urban centralities and to a reconstruction and requalification of high environmental value. It ultimately seeks to create a green city that will promote different lifestyles and uses for the urban space.
Some of the most noteworthy advances in the city of Cacém are the restructuring of the road network to provide a global improvement in mobility and accessibility, such as the Viaduto do Lagar; that make better use of the city and the natural spaces, the creation of new centralities, revitalising community life and reducing future costs with regard to sustainability; requalifying the Ribeira das Jardas and the Parque Linear (which together with the Parque Urbano da Bela Vista, form a «continuous green» that visually balances the area and improves habitability); restricting traffic in favour of the pedestrian; new reformulations of all underground infrastructure networks, urban furniture, paving and public lighting. Also fundamental in the development of the plan were a variety of exceptional measures such as, for example, the application of a bold programme of expropriations, refurbishments and rehousing. One of the most significant cases of this Programme for recomposing built-up areas is that of the Popular Kindergarten in a bioclimatic building.