When Lisbon met the Team 10 Cluster City

The Chelas Urbanization Plan


  • João Cunha Borges DINAMIA'CET - Instituto Universitário de Lisboa - ISCTE
  • Teresa Marat-Mendes DINAMIA'CET - Instituto Universitário de Lisboa - ISCTE




In the aftermath of the Doorn Manifesto (1954), Team 10 members synthesize their earlier projects into a new urban model: the Cluster City. In 1961, the Lisbon Technical Office for Housing (Gabinete Técnico de Habitação) – GTH was established to support the Portuguese government in solving an ongoing housing shortage. Soon, this new office planned the urbanization of the Chelas Valley, a large suburban agricultural area situated in the East area of Lisbon. This plan tested approaches to neighbourhood planning unprecedented in the municipality. The Zone I of the Plan, by Francisco Silva Dias and Luís Vassalo Rosa (1966) was the first to be implemented, echoing in practice the principles of the Doorn Manifesto.

In this essay, we identify the urban forms used in this Plan, and the ‘ground rules’ which structured it and influenced its change over time. Furthermore, we ask how sustainable this Cluster City is, and whether it can shed some light in the recent demise of emblematic examples like Toulouse-Le Mirail and Robin Hood Gardens.


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