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Sustainable City Development in Portugal

The World Wildlife Fund and Bioregional have announced plans to develop a massive eco-tourism and sustainable community program in Portugal:

The development is part of an overall project that covers an area of 5,300 hectares and brings together sustainable housing, nature conservation, reforestation and ecofriendly transport. Work will begin over the next few months on the 6,000-house, €1billion scheme in Mata de Sesimbra, just south of Lisbon. 

The project sounds interesting, and builds off of the BedZED concept also developed by Bioregional. The "One Planet Living Programme" will demonstrate one model for living a comfortable, modern lifestyle within a "single planet" footprint. To that end, the project description at Bioregional includes the following guidelines:

One Planet Living Communities will adopt the following guiding principles:
  1. Zero carbon
  2. Zero waste
  3. Sustainable transport
  4. Sustainable and local materials
  5. Local food
  6. Water efficiency
  7. Conservation of flora and fauna
  8. Respect for Cultural heritage
  9. Equity and fair trade
  10. Happy and healthy lifestyles

This community will be one of five globally, each housing around 5,000 people.

Comments (4)

Andrew Gaines:

When I looked at the picture of the design I thought, "That's sick". I'm all for sustainable cities, but rows of boxes hardly seem like a viable human design. Let's not forget aesthetics and the spirit.

Randall P.:

Actually, I don't mind the design all that much. Considering the row houses that are popping up all around where I live, it's a pleasant change. If the design is sustainable, then let it be as far as I'm concerned. If, as time goes on, the project is successful, then maybe they can do some design-wizardry to make it more interesting. Success first.


These rows are MUCH prettier than say, the 1950s-style boxlike buildings that cake the near Chicago suburbs. I'd welcome those complexes being ripped up and replaced with the ones pictured any day.

I'm fortunate to be out in the far suburbs, where people have some aesthetic taste. When I drive in towards the city, I feel like I'm in North Korea, only with billboards.


The box homes were simple dirt cheap starter homes for people who couldnt afford anything better. A box realy is cheap to build after all.

The problem here is this is 6000 homes being built for a total of 1 billion pounds wich I beleive is about what 1.4 billion us dollars for 6000 homes wich is what.... 233000 bucks each... Not exactly cheap and thats its cost to make we havnt even added sales tax school taxes blah taxes fees thingies and whatzits .. prolly total cost 350000 each.

For 6000 butt ugly jsmmed up together homes likely with lousy parking nowhere near any jobs that would pay the mortgage...

Ya that has a good chance of catching on in america.... HA!


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