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Habit:AÇÃO. Identificação territorial da vulnerabilidade social e da habitação indigna.

On going



The Habit:AÇÃO project. The primary aim of the territorial identification of social vulnerability and substandard housing is to study the phenomenon and crisis of substandard housing in Portugal. Its purpose is to develop, test, apply and evaluate the potential of using a methodology to crossreference the social problems associated with substandard housing, the socio-demographic profiles and the social and territorial vulnerabilities.
The project takes as its starting point the affirmation, particularly by the UN, of the political importance of access to adequate housing and the recognition of the various aspects associated with this concept. These aspects go far beyond shelter, by including the size of dwellings and the reference to the various holders of the right to adequate housing: individuals, households, groups and communities.
At the same time, it builds on the recognition of the complex, contextual and evolving nature of the concept, which implies a close relationship with the objectives and design of public policies and their organisational models, and the need to deepen and adapt public policy benchmarks.
Finally, it recognises the existence of a structural housing crisis, linked to new situations that have emerged in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis and the pandemic, in which new forms, manifestations and consequences of housing problems are developing, of which there is less systematic knowledge, while at the same time highlighting the difficulties and limitations of the responses that have been tried.
It therefore acknowledges the importance of a strong trans- and multidisciplinary component around a research strategy that is based on the following concerns: ensuring a broad geographical coverage of the study, capturing the diversity of contexts and situations; developing territorial analysis methodologies, combining local knowledge and indicators from the national statistical system, and linking the identification and knowledge of a problem (substandard housing) with the identification and knowledge of structural vulnerability factors; integrating concerns with public policy organisational models and institutional capacity building, contributing to robust strategies for monitoring, understanding and possible intervention in the short, medium and long term, and developing mechanisms for sharing information at different scales.
The project brings together a multidisciplinary team from the fields of geography, spatial planning, sociology and architecture, drawing on the expertise of the CEGOT, CITTA, IS-UP and CEAU research units in the study of public policies at different scales, and the experience of working together in contexts related to situations of vulnerability and substandard housing.
The study is divided into six tasks. Task 1 analyses the different international and national references for the concept of substandard housing and its operationalisation in public housing policies. Task 2 analyses the spatialisation of substandard housing and social contexts by building a geographical information system and applying multivariate analysis methods to a set of statistical indicators at municipal and parish level. Task 3 integrates and systematises information developed at the local level, namely information contained in local housing strategies, housing applications and other variables that cannot be assessed using traditional data sources. Task 4 includes the presentation and discussion of the results of the developed methodology and the selection and development of case studies leading to its validation and possible improvement. Task 5 focuses on analysing the organisational models of the municipalities and the conditions for information exchange. Finally, Task 6 concerns the dissemination of the knowledge generated by the project.
From the point of view of outcomes, and adopting an open science perspective, we plan to produce a synthesis of the international benchmarks of substandard housing and the subsequent operational issues; the creation of a database of municipalities and parishes; the production of an atlas, a series of national maps for the spatialisation of substandard housing both for municipal profiles and for more global analyses; four articles for indexed international circulation and a collective reference book; the organisation of conference. To produce each of the above, the implementation, dissemination and publication will involve partners according to their areas of specialisation, such as the CCDR, INE, and local authorities/city councils – embodied in a policy brief.


Timetable: Jan 2024-Dec 2024

External Coordinator

Teresa Sá Marques

Universidade do Porto - Faculdade de Letras, Centro de Estudos de Geografia e Ordenamento do Território (CEGOT)
Universidade do Porto - Faculdade de Letras (proposing institution)
Centro de Estudos de Geografia e Ordenamento do Território - CEGOT (coordinator)
Instituto de Sociologia da Universidade do Porto - IS-UP (partner)
Centro de Investigação do Território, Transportes e Ambiente - CITTA (partner)
Centro de Estudos de Arquitectura e Urbanismo - CEAU (partner)
Entidade de Financiamento
Global Amount:
Start Year


Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto
Via Panorâmica, s/n
4150-564 Porto, Portugal

Phone: +351 226 077 132


Other Contacts




Ref. UIDP/00727/2020

Ref. UIDB/00727/2020