Lisbon: Medina “versus” currencies | opinion

1. The choice of currencies

Carlos Moedas’ choice for Lisbon was seen as an excellent option for Rui Rio. On the left, however, he remembers his neoliberal past and the resulting dangers: first in the area of ​​real estate investments and then in the government of Passos Coelho, namely in the implementation of the Troika program. However, the passage of coins across Europe has given him an image of competence, moderation and public mind, and freed him from the stigmas associated with his earlier functions. In addition, Moedas’ stake in Medina properties can hardly be criticized, as these properties have been a major driver for the development of Lisbon for the current president of CML.

2. The legacy of Medina and Salgado

In reality it is a sophism to talk about the Lisbon of Medina. There is no Lisbon from Medina, but a Lisbon from Salgado, to which the contribution of António Costa as mayor will have been more important than that of Medina himself. And that is why Medina’s candidacy is above all the candidacy of Salgado’s legacy, but without his own and with a range of problems that can now be solved with less money: from the side effects of the success of the city of Salgado to the problems resulting from the pandemic that hit the community coffers hard.

3. The biggest currency problem

The biggest problem with the nomination for a coin is that Lisboa de Salgado can hardly be criticized from the right. Many of the ingredients of Lisboa de Salgado – tourism or urban redevelopment that rely heavily on real estate – are legally unassailable. And for two reasons. First, because they are part of their own ideological-programmatic matrix. Second, because they have always articulated themselves with the actions of the various national governments: from Durão Barroso (with the creation of urban rehabilitation societies) before the arrival of Costa and Salgado at CML, that of Socrates (with negotiations with Porto) from Lisbon, that the redevelopment of the river bank or the tax regime for non-habitual residents) and the Passos Coelho (with the investments in tourism and local accommodation recommended by Mesquita Nunes, the liberalization of the rental law or gold visas).

4.Coins: a bad start (correctable)

In Moedas’ recent interview with RTP3 (Great Interview), we recognized the discomfort of a candidate who for the time being has not yet found a solution to solve this big problem for him. We know that the pandemic is a turning point in our lives, that cities and urban life are particularly hard hit. But from then on it is a little depressing and quite reductive to make preparing the city for the next pandemic a priority in his program for Lisbon, as Moedas suggests: it makes a blank slate of a very strong past that the pandemic may have power have interrupted and certainly changed, but it has not gone, nor has it changed radically.

Moedas defends the concept of the 15-minute city, among other things: a controversial concept that recently became the new urbanism mantra for immediate consumption and, as a unique urban solution for the city, can promote parochialism and the separation of urban experiences. It makes no sense to analyze here the other ideas that Moedas presented in this interview as he is ignorant of the city, city politics, its governance and the complexity of the ongoing problems. The role that currencies have played in the EU (Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science) has taught you that, as important as listening to people is (something you highlighted as essential to your program), it is not Substitute for this is qualified knowledge.

5. What is expected of the candidate?

The race has started. Candidates are expected to respond to the problems inherited from the city of Salgado and the pandemic: some of them result from the previous ones, as is the case with the depletion of “tourist” neighborhoods. How can the solution to the affordable housing problem be solved or accelerated? How can the city be functionally and economically diversified to reduce the over-reliance on tourism and real estate investments? And transport? How can inner-city and inner-city mobility be improved? How can the reinforcement of pedestrian and cycle paths be reconciled with the car?

Candidates are expected to be able to anticipate the city’s post-pandemic problems and possible solutions: what can happen if people fail to pay for the loan default, for example? Will they be forced to sell their homes at lower prices, leading to a sudden devaluation of properties that can be capitalized by those with more investment capacity domestically and abroad? What happens to tenants who can no longer pay rent? Will there be a “Boom 2” in Lisbon following the previous hypothesis or the city’s growing attraction for “digital workers” or others? Does it really make sense to believe that the offices will be empty?

Finally, candidates are expected not to throw the baby out with the bath water. That is, they are expected to take advantage of and improve on the positive aspects of the city of Salgado: the redevelopment of public spaces, which was not limited to historical areas; the strengthening of interconnectivity (pedestrian or bicycle) and the permeability of urban spaces and neighborhoods (including the most isolated, as is the case with many social neighborhoods, but not only) – a principle that, if further developed, “Lisboetas “Offers open and non-separated city; or the continuation of the highly valued efforts made by Medina for affordable housing.

The author writes according to the new orthographic convention

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