Portimão ‘slum’ demolition begins as urban park project finally moves forward

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The demolition began in a “slum” of Portimão, near the municipal market and the cemetery, where a gypsy community has lived for more than 30 years in makeshift shacks.

Portimão Council announced that demolition work began on four of the huts on Thursday morning (September 23) and will continue over the next few weeks.

Residents are being moved out of shacks into prefabricated houses in Vale da Arrancada, behind the Continente and Intermarché supermarkets in the northern part of town.

The prefabricated houses are being put in place in phases and will be connected to the public water supply and the electricity grid.

These families will receive support from a municipal technician who will help them prepare for a new life and try to facilitate their integration into the community, the council says.

Residents have been calling for the demolition of the “slum” for years, describing it as a major eyesore in the heart of Portimão, a stone’s throw from Manuel Teixeira Gomes secondary school, the municipal market and the cemetery.

The area will make way for a new “urban green park” (Parque Urbano Verde do Mercado).

The first phase of the project began last April and consists of the construction of a 100-space car park in the southern part of the site.

Meanwhile, the northern part will make way for an outdoor amphitheater surrounded by green spaces, as well as an exhibition of “cantarias manuelinas” (historic stones) that were part of a historic Portimão farmhouse known as Quinta Morais back. The project will also see the renovation of an old Algarvian noria (a water wheel used to raise water from a river or other body of water).

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com

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