You are here em Marvila, Lisbon: Socio-spatial inclusion of refugees and economic migrants



Refugi.Arte em Marvila is an art-based inclusive shelter for refugees, economic migrants and low-income residents in Marvila district, located in the eastern part of Lisbon municipality. So far, a local architectural cooperative ‘Working with the 99%’ has been spearheading the process. The ultimate objective is to contribute to the inclusionary revitalisation of Marvila Street and surrounding areas through the rehabilitation of a municipal under-used heritage facility: Marquês de Abrantes Palace.

The programme builds on previous long-term participatory processes in the area, catalysed by two micro projects that were largely funded by a municipal programme targeting low-income neighbourhoods. It was submitted in 2017 for city council’s approval regarding: (a) formal authorization for using the Palace and its immediate surrounding open areas for cultural activities; and (b) its transformation and adaptation for future shelter and cultural uses. This programme should be of interest to the municipality as it is in tune with its inclusive and rights-based approach for Marvila, focusing on refugees as one amongst several vulnerable social groups in the area.

This case study was developed in the framework of the Mediterranean City-to-City Migration Project (MC2CM), a project coordinated by ICMPD and funded by the European Union and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. The MC2CM project has been working since 2015 with Amman, Beirut, Lisbon, Lyon, Madrid, Tangiers, Tunis, Turin and Vienna to increase the knowledge base on urban migration.

Additionally, the project has sought to nurture a peer-to-peer dialogue and mutual learning on specific urban challenges such as social cohesion, intercultural dialogue, employment and provision of basic services for migrants, among others.