How will Porto be in 2030? The city that has no rustic soil, only urban, will be denser, especially where the urban network is not yet consolidated, to meet housing shortages, attract residents and, with this, also reduce the ecological footprint of mobility. There will be more local gardens, and more trees in the streets, more parking lots on the outskirts and a central area freer of cars and, to a large extent, even pedestrian, to meet the challenges of decarbonizing urban life, in time to fight climate change.
These are just a few highlights of Porto’s new municipal master plan, the entry into public discussion of which will be voted on Monday by the executive headed by Rui Moreira. The 2006 PDM, a document for a decade that will end in force for a decade and a half, will finally give way to a new plan already subject to the new legal framework of territorial management instruments, published in 2015. The revision process has was officially launched on March 10 of that year, its completion deadline was pushed back three times and, therefore, it is more than five years after the new version of the document goes into public discussion, which will take place in the coming weeks, after the approval of this stage by the organs. municipal.
Porto PDM’s final proposal cuts investment in affordable housing
Online public session
Citizens will have access to all the documentation that integrates the PDM, through a microsite created for this purpose and, physically, in the parish councils and in the Citizen’s Cabinet. They will be able to submit complaints and suggestions, on paper or online, and they will also be able to participate, also online, because of the pandemic, in the only public clarification session scheduled for the moment, which will take place ten days later. the official start of this period of public debate. Other sessions can take place after that, admits Câmara do Porto.
The document, due to be released before March 24 next year, is a vision of Porto for the next decade that begins with the leadership of the executive led by Rui Moreira, in power since 2013. During these seven years the city has changed a lot, due to the tremendous impetus given to urban rehabilitation and tourist and economic attractiveness, but in this process of regeneration of the whole central area, old problems have arisen. also increased, such as access to housing.
With part of the population thrown out on the outskirts, inside or outside the city of Porto, the issue of urban mobility has also increased its preponderance, putting pressure on the road network and public transport in a time when national and local commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are forcing cities to find solutions that do not rely solely on the private car.
The decade of the Eastern zone?
It is possible to improve the balance of emissions by creating gardens and planting more trees on the streets, to improve the urban environment and capture CO2, as foreseen in the new PDM. But the times demand models of urbanization and (re) design of the road network that bring as many people as possible to their usual destinations, which invite walking, cycling and public transport to reduce the carbon footprint of this sector, at the same time, to gain space – essential in a compact city – for a reformulation of this “rare” asset defined as a public space.
It is in this sense that the municipality is part of the proposals to increase the building capacity in certain unconsolidated areas of the city, to include the entire East zone in a new urban center, attractive for new inhabitants but also for companies, “invited” to rehabilitate thousands of people. square meters of warehouses and old manufacturing facilities – which has already started to happen, in fact – in part of the city served by the most important railway junction in the North (Campanhã), which will soon be joined by a intermodal station and, further on, the commercial and cultural center which will be created in the former municipal slaughterhouse.
Either from the point of view of the plan, or from the point of view of the execution and financing program, the East zone has in this PDM the promise that 2020-2030 will be its decade. But for this to happen, the current and following cadres must accomplish the fate that was designed in the multiple plans, something that citizens and elected officials can control more effectively through, precisely, the Execution Program, one of the imposed novelties. by a law adopted in 2015.
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In addition to incorporating, in concrete projects, the city’s proposal for the next decade, the program is moving forward with a forecast of the investments necessary, from the municipal point of view, to implement measures that do not depend on other entities. Looking at the budgets of the last decade, in terms of revenue collected and investment expenditure made, the new PDM forecasts that 883 million euros are needed for its total execution, or an average of 88.3 million per year, with an insignificant increase in indebtedness and the use of one-third of (average) direct tax revenues over the past ten years.