Manuel Higgs Morgado

Manuel Higgs Morgado

Arquitecto pós-graduado em Eco-Arquitectura e Metodologias da Sustentabilidade


In a scenario in which the accelerated desertification of rural areas is counteracting the excessive metropolitan centralization, it is urgent not only to reinvent the cities, but also the entire biophysical functioning of society in the territory.

Betting on a Utopia for Comporta is not gambling in an oasis in the desert. It is betting on a spring that will increase the interurban dynamics between Grândola, Setúbal, the Peninsula of Tróia and until Lisbon and the interior Alentejano and Ribatejano. It is to bet on a bridge between urbanity and rurality that will reduce the asymmetries through a mutually beneficial common cause, that is, the sustainable development of the societies and communities that inhabit and that visit this singular place of the Alentejo coast.

If the idea of ​​a symbiotic society – which fosters the ecosystems with which it relates and on which it depends, rather than destroys them – is not compatible with the current standard of living, more urgent projects become like Comporta Utopia. This is because, in order to find alternatives to today’s urban reality, it is necessary to (re) invent ways of life: learning from the past to dream the future.

After all, can agroecology, information and automation technologies, renewable energies or the innovation of technologies based on natural materials trigger a Rural Renaissance?

Sharing structural characteristics with a number of similar projects, Comporta Utopia is a proposal to consolidate strategies gathered between several case studies of regenerative and sustainable development – many of them already with national and international evidence and can be consulted on the project website.

I also emphasize the irreproachable pedagogical character of this initiative that will give rise to an entity that promotes interdisciplinary methodologies through a holistic approach to knowledge.

Knowing that the cultural and scientific domains interpenetrate when studying the dynamics of social cohesion, ecological suitability and economic resilience – so urgently sought in the current civilizational paradigm – it is undeniable that this type of research should be conducted in a scenario of direct contact with the natural, social and financial resources that allow the exploration of these routes of investigation in a not only theoretical way.

In this way, through an academy rooted in the place and in the communities it serves, the greatest benefits inherent in the epistemology of this project and its common radical – Human Sustainability and Life in the Whole – the greater good to preserve will emerge.

By the Comporta and by a pragmatic utopia, where the common imaginaries can become shared and tangible realities. A thank you to all!