Balanced Urban Development: Options and Strategies for Liveable Cities

Volume 72 of the series Water Science and Technology Library pp 111-121

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.


Socio-Economy of Peri-Urban Areas: The Case of Lisbon Metropolitan Area

  • Maria Fátima de FerreiroAffiliated withInstituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL) and Dinâmia’CET-IUL Email author 
  • , Sebastião SantosAffiliated withInstituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL) and Dinâmia’CET-IUL
  • , Pedro CostaAffiliated withInstituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL) and Dinâmia’CET-IUL
  • , Teresa Costa PintoAffiliated withInstituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL) and Dinâmia’CET-IUL
  • , Conceição ColaçoAffiliated withISA-UL/CEABN


The chapter presents typologies of peri-urban areas of Lisbon Metropolitan Area (LMA) regarding social and economic dimensions. These typologies are the outcome of a trans-disciplinary research developed by the project PERI-URBAN involving different Portuguese universities, crossing academic fields and integrating the knowledge of stakeholders from diverse institutional and territorial (local and regional) backgrounds. By bridging science and society, trans-disciplinarity allows the translation of knowledge acquired in research into useful and relevant information for planners and decision-makers. The analysis reveals diverse socioeconomic realities demanding different and specific political approaches envisaging sustainable peri-urban territories in a changing world. The socioeconomy of peri-urban areas considers identities and lifestyle issues (e.g., age, family patterns, living and working conditions) and economic characteristics (e.g., main economic activities, economic organisation and structuring, attractiveness). The influence of a metropolitan area is expressed by continuing investments in peripheral areas that offer sources of labour and natural resources such as land. The presence of industries, services, logistics and distribution platforms, enterprises, housing, big store chains, etc., constitutes manifestations of this realm. Plus, and in parallel, the coexistence of a rural-agriculture matrix establishes a hybrid territory where distinct activities co-exist defining distinct degrees of specialisation/diversity of the economic tissue.


Socio-economy Peri-urban areas Lisbon metropolitan area Trans-disciplinarity Stakeholders