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45 years after SAAL

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This 25th April (2019) Portugal celebrates 45 years after the revolution put an end to Salazar’s dictatorship, opening the way to democracy, and the right to housing, formally recognized by the present Constitution of Portugal which was adopted in 1976. Portuguese public housing history (and architecture) is definitely marked by the revolutionary SAAL process, which was in force during the transition period between the dictatorship and the democracy. The SAAL – Serviço de Apoio Ambulatório Local (August 1974 – October 1976), was established (by decree) by the initiative of the architect Nuno Portas, the State Secretary for Housing and Urban Planning during the transitory governments.
It was lead by architects, and it was the apogee of a process of decentralization of competences, running alongside a growing involvement of these professionals on public housing issues during the 1960’s and the early 1970’s. Architects such as Nuno Portas and Nuno Teotónio Pereira (among others) played …