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Article
Author(s)

Mariana Seara Paixão, António Ricardo da Costa and Jorge Gonçalves

Affiliation(s)

Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Lisboa 1049-001, Portugal

ABSTRACT

The historic centres revitalization addresses the challenges related to the preservation of fundamental heritage values. At a time, when everyone looks with concern to our cities’ future, it is important to reflect on the received heritage, seeking the most appropriate answers to the planning of the historic centres. These fabrics are reference places in the urban space, due to their role of memorial testimony and of generators of cultural and economic dynamics. However, often times, inherited urban fabrics are affected by the limitations of the heritage policies which, for being too general and based on theoretical and abstract frameworks, have difficulty incorporating the characteristics of each area and neglect the formulation of specific criteria and intervention methods. The purpose of this paper is to provide a comparative reading of the levels of urban renewal allowed by the planning tools. This study chooses two historic centers in Portugal: Oporto and Guimarães historic centres (World Heritage Sites since 1996 and 2001, respectively, and were the last to get this classification in Portugal). This reflection is a contribution to peer trends and raise the discussion on the role that the different heritage policies have to the revitalization of the historic centres.

KEYWORDS

Historical centre, planning tool, urban renewal, heritage, urban planning.

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