|City, State and social change. A sociohistorical approach to the consequences of State-led housing projects in Porto's historical centre|
|Throughout the last 50 years, the city of Porto experienced an important process of social and economic transformation in which the role of public policies and State-led housing projects was relevant.
Trying to deal with the legacy of Porto’s 19th century industrialisation process, between the mid 1950’s and the end of the 1960’s, these projects produced the first systematic answer to the “social question” of the city, leading to a transfer of population (circa 20%) from the impoverished inner-city to the city’s new peripheral public housing projects.
By the end of the 1960's many families had left Porto's historical centre, but, for those who stayed, the problems – especially housing problems – carried on. And, despite the efforts of the democratic regime, which replaced, in 1974, the fascist dictatorship, inner-city Porto’s socioeconomic and housing problems somehow ended up having the appearance of “unsolvable” ones.
Through the reconstitution and analysis of historical records and lived memories, this paper tries to identify the main social and ideological properties of the most important State housing initiatives that took place in the last 50 years in Porto’s historical centre and aims at examining the role of the State in the production of social change in this area of the city, nowadays the most impoverished and aged social space in Porto.|