As such an old, decaying city, Lisbon is begging for rejuvenating works in almost every corner. While thereâ€™s some romantic charm in some of the dilapidation, much of it is sad evidence of decades of neglect after a large chunk of the cityâ€™s population moved away from the center and the river to the suburbs and uptown.
With this being an election year and with the center of the city finally going through a (very) slow renaissance, Lisbon will be under construction in several areas in 2009. The most important is inÂ Comercio Square, whose entire center around its equestrian monument will be closed for a few months due to works on the cityâ€™s sewage system. You can still stand by its triumphal arch and go under its arched galleries, but you wonâ€™t have access to the benches in the center of the square to stop and rest a while.
Many of the cityâ€™s viewpoints will also be cleaned up. Last year it was the SÃ£o Pedro de Alcantara viewpoint, this year will be half a dozen more, including the emblematic Santa Luzia, GraÃ§a, and Senhora do Monte. Â Also promised is the continued effort to remove the graffiti from the walls of Bairro Alto, something that has already started in Rua do Norte, the cityâ€™s trendiest and most alternative shopping street. The young crowds that shop there for their clubwear and brand-name sneakers and backpacks, have already seen it graffiti-free since late 2008, and hopefully the entire neighborhood will see the same by the end of this year.