A petition was been accepted at the National Assembly on July 14, 2016 (147/XIII/1) to elevate Portugal's traditonal granite 'calçada' paving system to the status of National Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
The description that follows concludes with a link to the Public Petition site which readers are encouraged to complete, using passport or residencia numbers in the field that asks for 'Bilhete de Identidade/Cartão de cidadão.'
"Portuguese calçada, the small blocks of stone traditionally used in many of Portugal’s pavements and squares, is a heritage that is part of our history and preserving it not only sets us apart from the rest of the world, it characterises the Portuguese as a nation which creates and champions an art form that is greatly appreciated abroad.
As for tourism, Portugal is one of the most visited countries, with Portuguese calçada one of the most popular aspects that appeals.
Currently, Portuguese calçada is constantly being threatened from another type of pavement which lacks strong visual aspect and is of doubtful durability.
There are many examples, such as the Terreiro do Paço (Palace Square) in Lisbon, where calçada designs have been dug up and replaced by paving that already, after just a few years, is in a deteriorated state and not in keeping with the surrounding architecture in this Pombaline downtown area.
One of the problems that people have with calçada is its alledged slipperiness when wet. It is an accepted fact that there are several types of non-slip calçada in addition to the traditional granite.
Another problem with calçada is brought about simply by a lack of maintenance. This is due to a lack of care by local councils which no longer give calçada the attention it deserves.
Another problem associated with the maintenance of calçada has to do with the lack of investment by the Government and councils in the training of craftsmen to work with calçada , the 'calceteiros.'
If these problems were overcome, surely Portuguese calçada work and maintenance would be in a better state than today, while preserving something that makes us so different from the rest of the world.
It's time to disseminate, to promote and to implement a plan that should have been implemented years ago: the elevation of Portuguese calçada to the status of National Intangible Heritage of Humanity, (Património Nacional Imaterial da Humanidade.)
Only then can we ensure that this part of our national heritage does not die out."
To sign the petition, click on the link below: