Territorial Planning in Portugal


a) To acquire knowledge about political and administrative systems in Portugal and their relation to spatial planning;
b) To understand the system of spatial planning in Portugal;
c) To master the instruments of spatial planning with respect to objectives, scope of intervention, nature, approval process and implementation;
d) To interpret constructive documents of plans varied in nature and scope;
e) To acquire knowledge about mechanisms of plans´ implementation;
f) To structure critical vision about the practice of spatial planning in Portugal.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

João Alberto Figueira de Sousa


Weekly - Available soon

Total - 168

Teaching language





Ascher, F. (2010). Novos Princípios do Urbanismo/Novos Compromissos Urbanos. Lisboa: Livros Horizonte.

Carvalho, J. (2003). Ordenar a Cidade. Coimbra: Quarteto Editora.

Condesso, F. R. (2005). Ordenamento do Território. Lisboa: ISCSP.

Correia, P. (2002). Políticas de Solos no Planeamento Municipal. Lisboa: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.

Ferrão, J. (2014). O Ordenamento do Território como Política Pública (2ª ed.). Lisboa: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.

Portas, N., Domingues, Á., Cabral, J. (2007). Políticas Urbanas: Tendências, Regulação e Projectos. Lisboa: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.

Teaching method

- Theory classes (50%): expository and involving participation (debates);
- Practical classes (50%): presentation and discussion of case studies, debates, application of specific methodology and techniques.

Evaluation method

Evaluation method - Complete an individual written test; Develop a group report related to the themes of the curricular unit. This task suggests practical application of knowledge achieved during classes and through reading of recommended bibliography (max. 15 pages).(100%)

Subject matter

1) Territorial Administration in Portugal and its levels. Local authorities
2) Separation of powers in the area of territorial management
3) Instruments of territorial management, including instruments of territorial development, of sector policy, of specific nature and instruments of spatial planning. Characteristic of each instrument regarding spatial aspect, legal framework, nature, content and binding level. Other instruments of territorial profile: Strategic City Plans and Preservation Plans
4) Articulation between different levels of planning: complementarity and conflicts
5) Instruments of plans’ implementation: legal framework and forms of applying
6) Planning in Portugal: critical reflection about good and bad practices.


Programs where the course is taught: