Chapter 4 Crossing Urban and Transport Expertise to Pave Lisbon’s Future Urban Sprawl (1930s–1940s)

In: Science, Technology and Medicine in the Making of Lisbon (1840–1940)
M. Luísa Sousa
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The construction of the coastal road from Lisbon to Cascais, promoted by the public works program of the Portuguese nationalistic Centennial Commemorations (1940), was one of the “old aspirations of the capital of the Empire”: it structured urban sprawl in the area to the west of Lisbon, as part of urban planning of Lisbon and its neighbouring regions; it materialized an agenda for the promotion of tourism, the “great facade of nationality,” and finally, it contributed to the propaganda of the work of the Estado Novo (New State) dictatorship and its makers. This chapter follows how the expertise of foreign urban planners inspired by the garden-city model and of Portuguese road engineers influenced by the recent European motorways (built in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany) were brought together and interchanged to plan the “new Lisbon” designed along the axis of the river mouth of Tagus and to foster new (auto)mobilities. The implantation of this road in the riverside area, starting in Belém, one of the most emblematic spaces of the nationality celebrations and of the empire reinforced the imperial mystique of the dictatorship, by materializing the “work of historical continuity of the Estado Novo” that the Centennial Commemorations intended to celebrate.

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