A tourist catwalk: the pedestrianisation of Rua das Portas de Santo Antão, Lisbon
Manuel João Ramos
The unassuming Rua das Portas de Santo Antão, in downtown Lisbon, was once the unlikely epicentre of the city. During the authoritarian regime of Estado Novo, it fell into progressive decline. Its partial pedestrianisation in 1994 didn’t revive it but rather helped sanitise it and empty it to make way for an influx of international tourists. This chapter details the steps by which a central street ended up being touristified, and how the rehabilitation of its heritage, enabling walkability and liveability, failed to connect with its local dwellers. Its rich history is not the object of intense praise, official or otherwise, but rather is lived by its heteroclite users, thanks to recurring acts of ritual appropriation.
About Manuel João Ramos
Manuel João Ramos is Associate Professor of Anthropology and researcher at the Centre of International Studies of the University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL), Portugal. He conducts fieldwork research in Northern Ethiopia and in Portugal, and investigates urban touristification, street life, and migratory flows.