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FCIC'24 | Keynote Speaker, Education | Gonçalo Canto Moniz

Gonçalo Canto Moniz

Centre for social Studies, Department of Architecture, University of Coimbra


dimension 2: Research on co-creation in urban heritage practices

Inclusive public spaces for social housing neighbourhoods in Europe: research in action collaborative strategies

Keynote abstract

The public space of the cities is changing not only in the historic urban areas, where tourists occupy squares, streets, avenues and parks but also in the suburbs, where people live, work and study. The change is in the territorial dimension to include nature and slow mobility as well as in the social dimension to integrate human activities that contribute to people’s wellbeing and sense of belonging. The suburbs are the result of the modern urban planning strategy that created zones for several human activities built in agriculture areas with lack of public infrastructure. 

The social housing neighbourhoods were built in these urban peripheries all over the world to offer a house to people that was arriving to work and live in the city. Some of these complexes have good architectural quality but many are still today isolated and far from the city centre, with physical barriers (highways or train lines) creating physiological walls for their inhabitants, adding to the lack of a sense of belonging, and with high unemployment rates, low incomes, and insecurity. In fact, social housing neighbourhoods are a forgotten heritage.

To face the complexity of these urban challenge, academia has an interesting territory of research not only to analyse the phenomenon but also to develop strategic actions. To do so, it needs to work with an “ecology of knowledges” by activating a “community of practices and interests” that can contribute to understand the needs and explore the solutions together with municipalities, companies, practitioners, stakeholders (third sector), local community and nature. In this context, National and European projects and programmes (URBiNAT, Bairros saudáveis, new European Bauhaus, etc) have been developing the concepts and methodologies for an urban regeneration that aim to co-create an inclusive public space.

This presentation will focus on research in action methodology based on co-creation process for social housing neighbourhoods by involving all the actors to understand the territory and its use (co-diagnostic), to identify and develop solutions for specific challenges (co-design), to build together products and processes (co-implementation), and, finally, to evaluate the impact of these solutions and the participatory process (co-monitoring). In this context, research is no more in the academic laboratories or ateliers, it is in the communities, putting all the actors in direct interaction with reality, through “living labs”.


Gonçalo Canto Moniz is a researcher at the Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra, where he co-coordinates the thematic line Urban Cultures, Sociabilities and Participation. He Graduated on Architecture at the Department of Architecture of Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of Coimbra in 1995, where he is Associate Professor. Obtained his PhD degree in Architecture at the University of Coimbra in 2011, based on his academic thesis Modern Architectural Education, published in Portuguese "O Ensino Moderno da Arquitectura. A Formação do Arquitecto nas Escolas de Belas Artes em Portugal (1931-69)" (published by FIMS, Afrontamento, 2019). He co-coordinates the H2020 project URBiNAT "Healthy corridor as drivers of social housing neighbourhoods for the co-creation of social, environmental and marketable NBS" (2018-2024) and the Horizon Europe project TRANS-lighthouses “More than green - Lighthouses of transformative nature-based solutions for inclusive communities” (2023-2026). He has been teaching, researching and publishing about research methodologies,  inclusive urban regeneration and modern architecture, namely about school buildings and architectural education. He is a member of the ISC Education and Training of DOCOMOMO International. +Info

Keynote Presentation Recording

30 January 2024
Instituto Pernambuco Porto Auditorium, Porto



Teresa Cunha Ferreira (UNESCO Chair "Heritage Cities and Landscapes. Sustainable Management, Conservation, Planning and Design", Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto, Portugal)

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