Vila Franca de Xira is the main city of the municipality of Vila Franca de Xira. It belongs to the Lisbon metropolitan área. It has 318,19 km2 and 136886 inhabitants.
The Tejo river crosses the municipality. The main urban areas are located in the South in the right bank of the river, which is more mounty. The left bank of the river has plain areas of “Lezíria” e “Mouchões”.
Main environmental challenges faced by the city
The main environmental challenges faced by Vila Franca de Xira (VFX) are related to the proximity to Tejo river. Tejo is the biggest river in Portugal and VFX is located in the beginning of its estuary. With the expected changes related with environmental climate change, VFX will be very susceptible to estuary flodings and progressive flodings, and susceptible to quick flodings.
Excessive heat is predicted to be a problem in the future.
VFX deals with the pressure of construction, due to the proximity to Lisbon city, but maintains a character of urban-rural fringe.
NBS implemented or planned
During the past years Vila Franca de Xira has been implementing NBS in green spaces. In the 22 Km of river front, from South to North, there are being built urban parks and trails to allow populations access to the river front and to assure that the main values of the protected area are preserved and respected. These parks and trails are built in respect to local characteristics and with natural materials and solutions, allowing the water to take its course in harmony with human proximity.
The Tejo Estuary Riverside Linear Park is one of these front river parks were NBS were used. The park respects the local conditions and creates access for humans in harmony with nature. It has a bird’s observatory and an environmental interpretation center. This project won an honor mention in Green Project awards 2014 and the first price in Landscape and Public Spaces Archmarathon Awards 2015, and in WAN Landscape Awards 2016.