2.17 - Social Justice as a Guide to Planning Practice: Criteria for Plan Evaluation

Project Description

The main goal of this project is to systematise a set of criteria of social justice to evaluate the most important formal instrument in the Portuguese planning system: the Plano Director Municipal (Municipal Master Plan).

Following the academic debates on issues of social justice in urban planning theory and practice, the scope of that set of criteria is twofold. Firstly, there is a concern with issues of distributive justice in urban planning. This is related with distributional patterns of material resources and accessibility to urban activities. Secondly, social justice is also conceptualised as an institutional condition to participate and to overcome oppression and domination through the achievement of self-development and self-determination. This indicates the importance of analysing the relational social structures and institutional contexts in which those patterns of distribution come about in evaluating justice in planning practices.

The tasks of this project are the following:

  • To revise and systematise the academic debate on issues of social justice and planning; and to subsequently build a specific set of criteria to evaluate the Municipal Master Plans in terms of social justice.
  • To construct an analytical framework to examine a specific intervention, restricting the investigative endeavour to particularly relevant domains in the analysis.
  • To use Porto's Municipal Master Plan as a case study.

Research Team
  • Prof. Isabel Breda Vázquez (supervisor)
  • Ricardo Cardoso
Financial Support
  • FEUP
Stage of Progress
  • Concluded


Scientific Papers

  • Cardoso, R; Breda-Vázquez, I (2009) "The Institutionalization of Just Decision-making: analysing planning practice in Portugal", Environment & Planning C 27 (3) , pp 413-432

Scientific Papers in Other Refereed Journals

  • Cardoso, R (2008) " A justiça social como princípio fundamental do planeamento do território", Sociedade e Território 41 , pp 27-34

Papers in Proceedings of Scientific Meetings

  • Cardoso, R.; Breda-Vázquez, I. (2008) "Planning tensions towards a new urban paradigm: social justice and the regeneration of Portuguese cities", in CITTA 1st Annual Conference on Planning Research 30 May, Porto, Portugal , pp 97-105