Com. Unity. Lab

…is a network that aims to replicate the Lisbon Local Development Strategy for areas of Priority Intervention which provides the city a range of integrated tools to tackle urban poverty and empower local communities. This strategy is based on a co-governance and bottom-up participatory perspective, ensuring a horizontal and collaborative local approach, to mitigate social, economic, environmental and urban exclusion, resulting in a smart and effective toolbox to implement sustainable urban living and enhance social-territorial cohesion.

Who, what, where, when?

Where: Lisbon, Portugal

Who: Daniela Pati

With whom: The city of Lisbon, BIP/ZIP, PT-Local Development Strategy for Priority Intervention

How: Com.Unity.Lab is a bottom-up participatory process that maps neighborhoods through a local approach to urban regeneration. The project aims to decrease and mitigate social, economic, environmental and urban exclusion and enhance social territorial cohesion.

More on Com.Unity.Lab

Through the numerous tools created, the project also promotes partnership programs funding local projects in a bottom-up co-governance model to promote employment, education and social-territorial cohesion.

The toolkit has helped Lisbon establish unique solutions to it’s local issues, create a road-map and goals, and set the civic participation and co-governance as a benchmark to ignite sustainable urban local development.

In numbers

668 applications were submitted between 2011 and 2016, gathering 532 local stakeholders and partners, generating a total of 1 466 activities in the deprived areas.

Between 2011 and 2016, with a total fund of €9,207,754, a total of 232 projects were approved, gathering 532 entities that participated both in the execution and sustainability phases.

These projects generated a total of 1,466 activities developed in BIP/ZIP territories, impacting an average of approximately 98,600 inhabitants each year.

What has the project produced?

BIP/ZIP Mapping

This tool is a crucial one, it helps identify the Priority Intervention Territories of the city based on the overlapping of social, economic, urban and environmental deprivation indexes that express the fracture of the city. The findings of the map data are supported through financial backing for local community projects that respond to local needs. The funds also promote local partnerships to create a sustainable urban development model.


GABIP develops a co-governance framework involving Municipality, Local Boroughs and all relevant stakeholders and citizens organizations. This local office promotes an articulated response among the political, administrative and technical dimensions with local organizations and the community at large


An acronym for “Collaborative Platform for Community-Led Local Development”, this tool promotes a bottom-up co-governance network that develops a global strategy to BIP/ZIP territories and promotes experience sharing to enhance local partners’ skills.The integration of these tools have helped ensure citizen participation, promote development in Lisbon, and create a socially and economically sustainable and inclusive holistic approach thatcovers social, economic, urban and environmental dimensions.

What can we take away from this project?

 Promoting socio-territorial cohesion through a participatory approach that involves local stakeholders is a must for all cities.The utilization of a bottom-up approach and strategy can be done through a smart, common, effective, flexible and pragmatic tools that when implemented, lead to sustainable urban living that reinforces cohesion and inclusiveness.

These tools can empower municipalities in creating real territorial co-management through local initiative and participation, which means that it can be of great interest to other cities, regardless of their local context and experience. By promoting citizens active involvement and participation, the program serves as an example of how cities can establish their own path and goals, and sets participation as a benchmark for the development of deprived areas.

Consequently, the tools created and developed within the framework of Com.Unity.Lab might prove to be essential to municipalities across the board.


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Project and partner info

For more information on the project and how Eutropian has acted as a consultant in the com.unity.lab project, please reach out to our expert, Daniela Patti.

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