InÃªs, I also think we are building to many stadiums in Portugal and donÂ´t forget that a great part of that investiment comes from the goverment, i mean, our taxes. Sport schouldnÂ´t go over other social and urgent issues in our country, but then... we elected them.
Football stadia have now a very big compititor wich is called TV. If you donÂ´t improve the media, players and public conditions, people will stop going to this "catedrals of sport". The "Disneyland" concept is being sucessfly applied outside the country, i mean, the idea that you can go to watch a live football game, leave your kids at the cinema or bowling and, if your wife doensÂ´t enjoys the sport, she can also go shopping. After the game they all go to have dinner, pick up the car at the underground payed park and go home. They spend more time together and they spend more money, helping the team or city that owns the stadium to pay for it...
And also, donÂ´t forget that a staium is used 1 or 2 times a week, so some extra shops, payed parking inside the city, a sophisticaded museum, guided tours, etc. will help to improve conditions and matunention. It will also stop these buildings from being huge empty boxes in the cities. We have enough of that right now!
John, I think the building you are talking about is the Lisbon International Exposition Pavillion (F.I.L.) with this "kind" of descontrutivist language, insnÂ´t it? The glass part you are talking about is just the entrance, because this 1 floor building is huge. ItÂ´s mostly used for conferences, mettings (I had some there) and busniness expositions and fairs (fashion, cars, sports, etc.)
And suprise yourself: The Parque inicial urban design competitions began in 1990! The site was a place for factories, radioactive stuff, huge gasoline deposits, etc... (the worst you can image!)
The constrution started around 1995! The Parque was ready in 1998 (for the world exposition). In 1999 the housing and other buildings started constrution. 2001 everything is not ready yet but next year we will get there... ThatÂ´s why I say we were lucky with this project.
A few marks of the past were left there like the "gasoline tour" in the South of the park, converted into a walk path and restaurant.
Portugal dinÂ´t want to do the same error that Spain with the Sevilla world exposition, leaving that place, after the event. I think we have managed it very well, even turning it into a tourist landmark (you and other thousands went there already). Also thousands of people work there everyday and at weekends the car parking is not enough for those who want to go for a walk, play bowling, shopping, go to see a movie, have dinner or rest in the green park. The nightlife is also great with all the pubs, bars, discos, raves, life concerts, etc.
The main theme of the exposition was the OCEANS and you can see how cleary that was left in the urban design (water games, colours, etc.). The sustainable issues were also a very big consideration since the beggining.
If you are so interested, I can give you the names of a few good books about all the process (in english, of course).
About who payed... well we all did. ItÂ´s a goverment urban renewal project as you say but some money also came from the private authoryties that are placed there (the big companies, etc.). But the organisition of the area is made trough a semi-private company (Parque Expo). IÂ´m afraid I donÂ´t know the numbers and the full process but I can surely find out meanwhile...
IÂ´m glad you liked the project so much.
PS: if you want, someday I can also describe you the "bad" aspects of that "urban renewal project"...
[This message has been edited by Rita Ochoa (edited 02 November 2001).]