Local development strategy and good practices of citizen participation in areas of priority intervention (BIPZIP) in Lisbon

School of Technology and Architecture, ISCTE - University Institute of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal

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Dr. Alexandra Paio


Dr. Paulette Duarte, Université Grenoble Alpes, Laboratoire Pacte, Grenoble, France

Dr. Carla Sentieri, School of Architecture, Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain


Lisbon City Council, Portugal

Université Grenoble Alpes, Laboratoire Pacte, Grenoble, France

Research project

Instruments and models of local development are needed to support an active role of citizens in the construction of the city. In recent decades there has been a renewed impulse to participatory processes in Europe that has contributed to greater civil society involvement in planning at different scales. Today, urban policies for local development are increasingly used by municipalities and are a source of inspiration for other cities to develop their own policies in this regard.

In 2010 the Lisbon City Council, aware of the city's urban inequalities, seventy-seven Priority Intervention Neighbourhoods and Zones (hereinafter BIP/ZIP, original Portuguese acronym), which constituted a pioneering strategy to enable bottom-up citizen participation in co-government models, urban interventions and cultural initiatives. In addition to establishing local governance structures that facilitate communication and shared decision-making between the public administration and neighborhood organizations, BIP/ZIP also incorporated an initial funding program for community partnership initiatives with strong local impact.

After ten years of implementation in Lisbon, it is already possible to take stock of its impact on the city and draw some conclusions that could be applied to other cities. Therefore, the purpose of this project is to create a taxonomy of local governance structures that facilitate communication, negotiations and shared decision-making between the public administration and neighbourhood organisations, following the experience of BIP/ZIP. The results of the research will contribute to the design of a co-governance model in which municipalities and communities collaborate in the development of strategies that promote quality of life and territorial cohesion.

The research work includes secondments in Grenoble to study local practices on local development, and in the municipality of Lisbon to analyse policy guidelines on local development strategies and good practices of citizen participation, as well as to access to data related BIP/ZIP programme.

->To conduct an individual research project, interlinked with the other ESRs projects, focusing on:
  • Analysis of best practices in co-governance tools and models for local development in cities (Lisbon metropolitan area, Grenoble metropolitan area)
  • Qualitative methodologies to map local governance structures
  • Involvement of residents and policy-makers in local co-governance
->To participate in the network-wide activities (workshops, summer schools, conferences)
->To carry out the training required by the PhD programme of the host university.

As part of the individual research project, ESRs will carry out two secondments, each of 2 to 3 months, in the partner organisations.

ESRs are expected to have completed a doctoral thesis that can be defended at the host institution within or shortly thereafter the project lifetime.

Host university

ISCTE is a high-quality public research-oriented university being among the 150 best young universities in the world (The Young University Rankings 2017), has about 9,000 students, half of them in doctoral and master programs. With a multidisciplinary approach, it is one of the most dynamic and innovative institutions in Portugal, running more than one hundred international projects with several research, public and private organizations. Researchers at ISCTE fulfil the mission of producing scientific knowledge and participating in international agendas and networks for the advancement of knowledge in the Institute’s areas of expertise.

DINÂMIA’CET, Centre for the Study of Socioeconomic Change and the Territory is an ISCTE-IUL research unit which combines fundamental and applied research on economic, social and cultural topics. It carries out advanced international research systematically grounded on interdisciplinarity. With the aim of framing a new approach to sustainable development, our research seeks to contribute to the understanding of the contemporary world through the analysis of the contexts, the actors and the consequences of change, with a focus on institutional frameworks, and through extensive recourse to comparative approaches.


Prof. Alexandra Paio (

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