The expansion of coastal cities accelerated with special vigor from the 1960s and between the 1970s and 1990s it was several times world record in the speed of construction: few countries exceeded it in number of new buildings completed per year per capita.
Only in 2007 the constructive vortex was extinguished. However, the context of this process was very adverse to the quality of urban design: in between 1969 and 2014, the land planning laws were absolutely favorable to land speculation, in the same period there was a great shortage of skilled labor in architecture, engineering and landscaping.
The results still mark the territory in numerous stretches: urban disorder, dysfunctional and anaesthetic layout of many buildings and populations, damage to biodiversity and rustic landscape in wide panoramas.
Given the scenario left by this recent past, the Comporta Utopia project represents an opportunity to change course and create a new way of ordering land uses and designing human occupation.
Perhaps for the first time in our country, a large-scale project has arisen in order to reduce construction rates rather than increase them; to install buildings and agricultural fields to take care of in the long term, as an alternative to open allotments to speculate in the short term; to create high quality public space open to all, instead of erecting closed condominiums of inaccessible luxury; to create dignified and permanent employment, rather than ancillary and precarious; and to strengthen the autochthonous landscape instead of importing landscape models from other climates and biogeographical regions.
I support the Comporta Utopia project as it is the best solution available to the Portuguese safeguarding the public interest, both in environmental and economic terms. May this project triumph and inaugurate with its example a new cycle in the Portuguese territory.
Presidente da Direção
Pedro Bingre do Amaral