The Bairro da Ajuda Community Atlas is collecting memories, stories, ideas and the wishes from residents to envision the future of this neighbourhood - through participatory actions, the "Ideas for the Decade" Laboratories, a mentoring programme and other community hub activities. Ajuda is one of the 25 local municipalities/parishes that constitute the city of Lisbon, belonging to the Western Zone of the capital, with 2.88 km² of area and 15 617 inhabitants.
The territory of Ajuda is social, economic, cultural and demographically very heterogeneous. Geographically, the territory has a difficult configuration on a hill side, with streams and discontinuities, reinforced throughout time by urban desorganisation and many private ‘walls’: a palace and half a dozen military and police quarters, churches and military hospitals - Ajuda's circulation and mobility is difficult.
Ajuda confines with the 'posh' area of Restelo/Belem on one side and has three neighbourhoods classified by Lisbon's municipality as BIP - priority intervention. Two are social housing blocks with several social re-settlements - Casalinho and 2 de Maio - and the third, Rio Seco is an aged and urbanistically chaotic neighbourhood. Gentrification, pressed by real estate speculation and tourism is threatening the popular, low-income population and the relative demographic renovation of the last decade, as young people are no longer able to find a house here. Still, Ajuda has a ‘neighbourhood/bairro spiritâ’ and popular history, but was and still is a neighbourhood neglected by local and social policies. 4Change started intervention in Ajuda in 2014.