Intervening right in the heart of the city: the social housing neighbourhood of Sobreiro.



Maia Municipality is part of the Porto Metropolitan Area in the northern region of Portugal. The Sobreiro social housing neighbourhood, which lies in the heart of Maia, today consists of 47 structures overall. It was constructed using public funds in the late 1970s. It was partially renovated between 2012 and 2021, including energy-efficient improvements to buildings. The district aims at co-design for an urban transformation by involving vulnerable residents.


  • POPULATION: 134,988
  • AREA: 83 km2
  • INTERVENTIONS: Rehabilitation of 7 building blocks (5000 m2) and a common area (8000 m2) to improve the overall aesthetics of the territory.
  • INITIATIVES & STRATEGIES: – BaZe – Living Lab Maia: Net Zero Carbon City; Maia Sustainability Strategy; Municipal Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change; Climate Adaptation Action Plan; Plan on Environmental Education – PEA; Municipal Social Housing Strategy; Municipal Rehabilitation Strategy; Integrated Action Plan for Disadvantaged Communities.


  • Eyes

    Bring artists closer to the project to identify local talent and content that can contribute to performances, exhibitions and urban interventions. Renovation of buildings and common areas using co-design methodologies.

  • Hearts

    269 inhabitants of the Sobreiro district will be called on to co-design their neighbourhood. The will entail organising activities and exhibitions to enhance integration and social inclusion. Adoption of energy-efficient behaviours will be promoted to help mitigate energy poverty.

  • Hands

    Social engagement activities will be organised to address the Sobreiro district population and local businesses. Some co-design activities will take place digitally, thus helping residents to gain in digital literacy. Training to local businesses on different innovative solutions will be offered, which will help them upgrade their technology-related skills and increase their competitiveness in the long-run. The residents will be explained their roles in the renovation process, and their expectations about public and private spaces will be assessed. This will encourage dialogue among different groups and cultures living in the area.



Local Desk

Ricardo Barbosa

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