The following is an appeal to concerned citizens of Olhão and those that know and love the city, to email the President of the Council, António Miguel Pina, to urge him to pay attention to comments and helpful criticism to ensure the current plans for the city centre are re-thought and not implemented as they currently exist.
The redevelopment plans for the wider municipality of Olhão (PDM) have entered a period of public consultation. (Appendix D)
A small part of this PDM plan is the redevelopment of the historic city centre of Olhão which generally suggests that its heritage and style should not be interfered with, although the plans commissioned by Olhão's Câmara and delivered by a Lisbon based architects practice contradict this statement.
However, if no comments are made, the Câmara may go ahead accepting in full the architect's plans that it already has received, but has not shared with the wider public for comment and valuable input.
The Câmara already is aware of the general dissatisfation over the style of the works already carried out in the city, the use of inappropriate materials, street furniture and industrial type lighting.
This is a chance for those that live in or visit Olhão to contribute to the debate and show the Câmara that there is support for development in the city, but not at the expense of its soul and its heritage.
At then end of this article you will find the Lisbon architect's designs (Appendix A) for a modern Olhão including:
- zero traffic
- a large new viewing tower, despite the church tower already existing for visitors to climb
- authorisation for the sea front buildings to be raised thus blocking out the old buildings behind them
- the widespread use of inappropriate paving slabs replacing traditional calçadas
- street furniture of a modern design and inappropriately placed
- lighting more normally associated with shopping centre carparks
- the demolition of viable old buildings in order to straighten roads
Next, you will find a helpful commentary sent to the Câmara from a local architect which points out that much of the proposal from the Lisbon architects is not in keeping with the history of the city, nor does it accord with the various protocols and regulations covering historic city centres, and it is inappropriate in design and is not sympatheric to the allure, charm and soul of Olhão with its narow streets, small squares and cubist houses.
This commentary 'Revision of the Municipal Plan of Olhão' is in English and in Portuguese.(Appendix B & C)
Olhão's council executive appreciates and welcomes the views of the public whether from Olhão, Portugal or abroad,
Below is a suggested form of words for you to cut and paste into an email, adding your own comments, which you can send to:
Dear Câmara Presidente, António Miguel Pina
I have read the consultation document titled ‘Revision of the Municipal Plan of Olhão' which contains advice and expert comments on the sensitive development of the city centre of Olhão.
There is no need at all to remove the charming old calçada areas and streets, the calçada being one of the main reasons people visit your delightful city, nor is there any need to repeat the design mistakes seen in the Praça and the other squares along the Caminho das Lendas which now have modern shopping centre lighting, inappropriate paving slabs and blocs of granite for seating, which few people use.
I urge you to rethink more expensive, modern designs from the Lisbon architect which include demolishing buildings for no good reason, altering the skyline along the Avenida 5 Outubro, removing historic calçada areas and replacing with modern materials and inappropriate lighting.
The inward investment in Olhão has been from foreigners with money to spend on renovating old buildings. In this way the city is being regenerated. There will be no attraction to this town if it loses the character which draws people to come to Olhão to visit or invest and improve property here.
Millions can be better spent just maintaining and renovating Olhão as it is instead of making fatal and lasting mistakes at great expense.
I understand that this view is almost entirely universal.
Please end by adding as much of the following information as you are happy with:
Some form of ID number or passport number:
Country of origin:
Please send a blind copy (Bcc) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Appendix A - Architects plans for modernising Olhão
Appendix B - Revision of the Municipal Plan of Olhão - English