What you can do with the city

Living in a city means living together, defining and negotiating relationships with neighbours and with the urban environment. But it’s easy to overlook the everyday actions that make the stuff of urban life because it often seems like they are overpowered by the heavy frame of the contemporary urban system’s logistics, administration, and regulations. Bring the focus back onto pedestrians, gardeners, religious pilgrims, cyclists, recyclers, and drivers stuck in traffic. Make and use the city.

Article 6 of 10

The SAAL Process

Nuno Grande interviews Nuno Portas

As Portugal’s secretary of state for housing after the 1974 revolution, the architect, urban planner, and critic Nuno Portas initiated SAAL, an architectural and political experiment intended to address extreme housing shortages and poor living conditions in Portuguese cities.

Nuno Grande, a Portuguese architect who organized a series of public conversations in neighbourhoods that resulted from the SAAL program, discusses with Nuno Portas the idea of “empowerment,” the influences that shaped SAAL, the challenges it faced and its legacy today.


This interview was carried out in the context of The SAAL Process: Housing in Portugal 1974–76, an exhibition we presented in 2015.