Models of urban rehabilitation under neoliberalism and austerity: the case of Porto
This paper critically analyses the legal and institutional framework set up by the Portuguese government in 2004 to boost ‘urban requalification’ – the Urban Rehabiliation Societies (SRUs) – and its implementation in the city of Porto. Firstly, we present a diachronic analysis that identifies phases of continuity and change in models of urban requalification in Portugal. Secondly, we present the background for the SRU model and discuss the context in which it was implemented in Porto. Thirdly, based upon a qualitative methodology, which uses literature reviews, analysis of political documents, and six semi-structured face-to-face interviews conducted with local and government officials, we analyse practices of urban requalification within a specific urban requalification operation, in the Cardosas quarter, which is an example of a large-scale requalification operation promoted by the Porto Vivo SRU in a context of public-private partnership.