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Civic garden 2.0 seizes the background of the festival A Porta to question the public nature of an underused and underdeveloped space in the center of the city of Leiria

Going against the common notion of a temporary installation for a temporary event such as a festival, we proposed the construction process of a public space through a long period of time and with several moments and phases. Open and inclusive, this process aimed to highlight the spontaneity of use and critical appropriation of the city.


The process started by listening to dwellers, local shopkeepers and associations. From these dialogues was born the idea of a garden that would grow in time and could accommodate everybody.


During a month and a half we developed and coordinated several events: carpentry workshops, urban horticulture and manual arts workshops, as well as public assembly with city representatives.


Through the creation of an urban garden and a number of spaces for the public, the project became a laboratory of appropriation and debate of Leiria’s historic center’s common space.

By the festival’s end we proposed its management be delivered to dwellers and local shopkeepers, however, by late fall, more than six months after its first parsley and carrots were good to pick, town hall decided unilaterally to dismantle the urban garden and its public spaces.


Project type: Public space participated intervention (Installation/participative workshop/civic debate)

Site: Centro cívico, Leiria 

Date: April-June2019

Duration: 6 weeks

Promotor: Festival a Porta 

Design/Construction: Colectivo Til

Photography: Colectivo Til, Vera Marmelo, Gil Álvaro de Lemos, Idalécio Francisco

Collaborations/Partners: Câmara Municipal de Leiria, Voluntários Festival a Porta, Comunidade do Centro Histórico de Leiria, Associação Sempraudaz.

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