Connecting generations and neighbourhoods

Lisbon, Portugal

Challenge team: Biblioteca da Penha de França and Fazer do Bairro a Nossa Casa (Making the Neighbourhood our Home)

Population of Lisbon: 545,796

Summary: This challenge team is working alongside the local community to improve intergenerational solidarity through citizen exchange.

Making the Neighbourhood Our Home is a community organisation that was started in 2022 by a group of mothers, activists and researchers who wanted to reconnect the inhabitants of the Penha de França neighbourhood in Portugal’s capital, Lisbon. 

The neighbourhood is home to a mix of older inhabitants, who often have little support, and relatively new arrivals, who often lack intergenerational connections. Both groups face socio-economic isolation and lack of opportunities. 

Working with the local library Biblioteca da Penha de França, Making the Neighbourhood Our Home is working alongside the local community to create initiatives to help improve intergenerational solidarity. They are doing this by setting up creative workshops and events in collaboration with local artists and collectives. And second, by initiating ‘citizen labs’, where people can come together to discuss their ideas and decide about collective actions. 

The challenge team wants to create the space for working groups to be formed during the citizen labs so that local people can start planning their own initiatives. They are supporting the active involvement of children, elderly people and young adults by facilitating collaborations with daycare centres, local associations, cultural spaces, artists and others. They are also creating an ‘open space’ in the library, where working groups can meet bi-weekly, without a specific agenda. 

The challenge team said: “Intergenerational solidarity creates stronger and more resilient communities, ensures the continuity between past, present and future and builds networks that can be activated when collective action is needed.”  

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