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Heritage 2019, 2(1), 169-183;

Methodological Proposal to Study the Uses and Appropriations of Unfinished Estates: A View from Vizela, Portugal

Landscape, Heritage and Territory Laboratory (Lab2PT), University of Minho, 4704-553 Guimarães, Portugal
Department of Geography (DGEO) and Communication and Society Research Centre (CECS), University of Minho, 4704-553 Guimarães, Portugal
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Received: 1 December 2018 / Revised: 2 January 2019 / Accepted: 5 January 2019 / Published: 10 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heritage and Territory)
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Contemporary urbanity is marked by the presence of abandonment, ruins, and voids. Over the last decades, the model of urban development in Portugal allowed a discontinuous city expansion that has left many plots and spaces empty. Due to interrupted urbanization processes, urban developments suspended in time and space have progressively degraded, constituting nowadays new forms of non-historical ruins and a significant part of the urban landscape. However, these semi constructed buildings, are not only structures made of brick and mortar, but commonly the object of several and distinct appropriations and social uses. In order to explore the socio-cultural meanings of these ruinous constructions, their social life and their material and symbolic transformation, this paper puts forward a methodology, based on systematic ethnographic observation and detailed field work. Furthermore, it applies this methodology to a case study—an unfinished project in the city of Vizela, Portugal, for which fieldwork was carried out during 2017 and 2018. The paper ends up highlighting a political challenge in planning the contemporary city, towards the need to overcome a conventional dichotomy between the usage rights of the public and private domain. View Full-Text
Keywords: ruins; appropriations; re-significations; social uses; suspended project ruins; appropriations; re-significations; social uses; suspended project

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Pereira, R.; Sarmento, J. Methodological Proposal to Study the Uses and Appropriations of Unfinished Estates: A View from Vizela, Portugal. Heritage 2019, 2, 169-183.

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