Project

Residential Trajectories and Metropolization:
continuities and changes in Lisbon Metropolitan Area

In Portugal, the urbanisation process, which starts in the beginning of the 50′s, reaches its pinnacle in the following decade and continues on until the “agitated” 70′s. It is the time of the HLM, of the New Towns, of the “glorious 30″ which would revolutionise housing for the masses. Portugal also had its “Grands Ensembles”, a few, but the majority of them were private. It was in the periphery or in the peripheral limits of the city that were built the “new neighbourhoods” of collective housing or of detached houses which were frequently illegal.

Trajectórias

© AFCML

Here, as elsewhere, peripherisation is an inevitability of the constitution of the metropolis, a sine qua non for the human and territorial expansion that characterises it. Along with the expansion of the “new city”, the first criticisms to this model begin to appear among some elites. More than a specific urbanistic and housing model, what is criticised is a particular world vision: the modern vision of the world or the vision of a certain phase of Modernity, High Modernity, of which resulted modern urbanism, among many other “things”.

From now on, in a slow process of social “contagion” which expands at the rhythm of the sociocultural transformations of Late Modernity (LM), the word periphery acquires an evaluative tone, specifically a depreciative one, rather than a designative one. Today, the praising of urbanity as opposed to suburbanity is the dominant referential among those who think, make and manage the city. The absolutisation of this referential, by excluding analyses that are more linked to individual practises and subjectivities, fosters a reasoning around the logics of occupation of the metropolitan space, which is restricted to two arguments that are considered as structural constraints imposed by supply: i) people were forced to leave the cities; ii) they don’t live in the city centres “only” because they can’t.

The project’s general objective is to study the residential trajectories of the Lisbon Metropolitan Area (LMA) inhabitants born between 1935-1985. However, given the need to deepen the knowledge about the current transformations that may lie at the basis of a restructuring of the contemporary metropolisation logics, we will pay particular attention to the analysis of the youngest generations: individuals born between 1965-1985 and whose adulthood and probable residential autonomy occurred after Portugal’s accession to the EU, the period in which the main modernity indicators start to emerge.

Trajectórias

© AFCML

The project has 3 departure hypotheses:

i) individuals tend to trace reproductive residential trajectories (when moving, they remain in the same area or in that of their partners; they usually choose similar areas), which guarantees them the continuity of a spatial familiarity/ identity they appreciate and cushions the practical and emotional disruptive impacts of house moving;
ii) most individuals have a “new city” referential, and they reject or don’t know historic centres and therefore tend to look for areas that match that referential;
iii) the increase of discontinuous trajectories – particularly those that tend to invert peripherisation by choosing to live in historical centres – has been taking place in a spontaneous way. This is not a phenomenon of the majority, but mainly of the youngest generations as a result of their growing adherence to values and lifestyles that are characteristic of LM: individualisation, aestheticization and cosmopolitanism.

In methodological terms, the project follows 2 procedures. An extensive one, through a representative survey of the LMA population born between1935-1985, applied to a non-proportional stratified sample (Neyman) which assures: a) an inter-generational comparability; b) the statistical representativity of the youngest generation. The specific goals of this procedure are:
i) the typification of trajectories in geographic terms (ex. Periphery-Lisbon; another Region-Lisbon- Periphery; periphery-periphery);
ii) the identification of sociological profiles for the most relevant trajectory types, in what concerns their statistical representativity or their emerging character.
The second procedure, an intensive one, is centred on the qualitative deepening of the profiles previously identified, but only as regards individuals born between1965-1985. In this approach, the focus is on the factors that lie at the basis of the constitution of those profiles, namely: the functional, identitary and social network aspects that characterise the relationships established by individuals with their places of residence. For this purpose, we will interview 100 individuals proportionally distributed according to the profiles distribution in the sample. A register sheet of the corresponding housing and urbanistic model will accompany these.