Inter-ministerial initiative for intervention in "Critical Neighbourhoods"
In 2005, in the framework of the cities policy, a Resolution of the Council of Ministers created an inter-ministerial initiative for intervention in “Critical Neighbourhoods”, which defined specific action lines targeted at the area of cultural expression: Vale da Amoreira (Moita) – “decentralised art: artistic experimentation space”; Cova da Moura (Amadora) - “a creative space”; and Lagarteiro (Porto) – “Networked School/art education in primary schools (1st cycle) and pre-primary schools”. This served as a starting point for the intervention and aimed to foster cultural and artistic “fusion” in these territories, resulting from appropriation and exchanges between the cultural expressions of the resident communities in these neighbourhoods. In the framework of the intervention in the Vale da Amoreira zone, where artistic action is considered to be a structuring dimension of the entire intervention (whether social, urbanistic or economic), creation of a community studio has enabled production (and built production capacities) for different products from the various established artists’ collectives, together with an exchange of services between different types of artistic skills. Approximately 1200 young people are involved in the Vale da Amoreira project, spanning activities linked to artistic expression. In terms of the public image of the territory, there has already been a relevant alteration –when searching for news items in relation to this neighbourhood the principal category is now no longer associated to issues of marginality but rather with various cultural and artistic initiatives. Another dimension which should be highlighted, is the construction of an eminently cultural and significant infrastructure within the Lisbon and Tagus Valley region: the Artistic Experimentation Centre (financed by EEA Grants (the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism) and the Institute of Housing and Urban Renewal, in the framework of the IBC – Vale da Amoreira project), that will be managed by Moita Municipal Council, not as a traditional cultural infrastructure but rather as a facility that will foster artistic appropriation by the community.