Fotografia do Bairro de Alvalade
  1. Summary
  2. Methodologies
  3. Objectives
  4. Team
  5. Proponent


Mapping Public Housing is a project carried out within Atlas da Casa [AdC], one of the seven research groups of Center for Architecture and Urban Studies [CEAU] at Faculty of Architecture, University of Porto [FAUP].

The aim of the project is to identify the public programs and their spatial concretizations: estates, collective buildings or single-family houses.
In order to establish a processual, contextual, comparative and interpretative study, it is intended to analyse the documental archives of the entities of promotion and tutelage of public housing in Portugal. This approach will enable the setting of a narrative with several purposes:

  • Establishing a relation between public housing programmes and political and legal contexts;
  • Identifying construction systems and housing types;
  • Understanding social policies;
  • and Georeferencing urban contexts in which the initiatives are inscribed.

This project relies on the achievements brought up by former sectorial studies both in the social and in the architectural perspective, seeking mostly the articulation of knowledge and the supplementing of lacking periods, areas or programs towards a global and systemic overview.


The research project proposes to build an instrument that will allow weaving data and knowledge referring to state subsidized housing in Portugal, in the form of a complex database, and to develop its inherent methodologies.

While this implies a return to primary sources (archive records and documents), it fosters as well a review of already known books and research works (secondary sources) and, in doing so, an integrative approach of distinct document types and various fields' perspectives. We aim at an integrated overview on two combined paths.

On one side, the chronological perspective: by looking at a particular aspect such as regulations, public/private interaction or urban inscription, we can observe the development of the subject at different times. This leads to a broad consideration of the factors that impact on housing architectural design and vice versa.

On the other side, bringing together different settlements allows a systematic reading of their processes connected to social and political context. This approach allows to understand the diversity of the responses to similar problems and to acknowledge the similitude of geographically scattered events or facts.

An overall vision of the housing sets triggers a research approach capable of revealing the global intentions, the background strategies and the common solutions that the circumscribed analysis does not seize.


The research work is organized in 3 main actions:

  • Documental: database construction and data gathering.
  • Interpretative: systematization, categorization and interrelation of documents and data.
  • Communicative: Spreading and dissemination of knowledge.

For the first action, we will rely on a documental corpus anchored on residential settlements' projects archived in various Portuguese Institutions (IHRU, SIPA, LNEC, Municipalities, etc) as well as on the related documents (memoirs, reports and assessment procedures, etc.). These data will then be compiled in a database that relates each operation/estate/building to bibliographic and photographic references, as well as to its legal frame.

In the second action, the interpretation and interrelation of the materials gathered and organized are the basis to substantiate a contemporary vision of the residential settlements, endorsing their present intervention actions, as well as a review of the political, economical and social 20th century history integrating alternative readings established from social housing.

The mentioned housing sets will serve as anchor point to compile and relate further data and other pertinent cases. The database is organized in two levels: the first level is constituted by the elements refereeing to the architectural design: plans, sections, elevations, photographs, location, urban insertion, authorship, relevant dates or facts, promoting public entity or department, and bibliographical references. In a second level we find a registry of the categories that relate each building or estate with an interpretative reasoning.

In the third action we foresee:

  • International Congress (to be held in May 2019)
  • Publications: Glossary, Booklets, Book;
  • International and national peer-reviewed journal articles;
  • Presentations and national and international meetings;
  • This website, with an open access to the project’s database.


Rui J. G. Ramos Principal Investigator CEAU | FAUP

Eliseu Gonçalves MdH Coordinator CEAU | FAUP

Maria Tavares CEAU | FAUP

Marta Rocha CEAU | FAUP

Raquel Paulino CEAU | FAUP

Teresa Cálix CEAU | FAUP

Gisela Lameira CEAU | FAUP (MdH Scholarship)

Luciana Rocha CEAU | FAUP (MdH Scholarship)

Sérgio Dias Silva CEAU | FAUP (FCT Scholarship)


Virgílo Borges Pereira ISUP

Fernanda Ribeiro CETAC.MEDIA | FLUP

Maria Fernanda Rollo IHC | FCSH | UNL

Carmen Espegel GIVCO | ETSAM

Daniel Movilla GIVCO | ETSAM


Service Providers

Silvano Rego (2016-2017)

Sara Martins (2016-2017)

Ana Amil (2016-2018)

Luísa Ribeiro (2017-2018)