gentrification in Portugal

The Gentrification of Porto



benefit demand from the ground up
afford hang (2) point of view
rise income renovate
vacate compare consequences
seem increase investment
that is income real estate
crucial demand boom (2)
victim resident inner-city (2)
rent point (3) fall victim to
protest move in space (2)
supply banner extremely
adjust average pressure (2)
crisis against agent (2)
hostel Ryan Air notice (2)
abroad gentrify


Video: Gentrification in Portugal



Paula Magalhaes is showing how her street is changing. One house after the other is being renovated from the ground up — all for the benefit of tourists.

Paula Magalhaes, Porto Resident: “The house I was born in was sold five times, and now it belongs to Chinese people.”

Chinese . . . Brazilians . . . French. Porto is extremely popular with tourists: 1.6 million people visited last year. From many foreigners’ point of view, it’s not only the coffee that’s cheap — the houses and apartments are affordable too.

Demand from abroad is rising, with big consequences, according to economist Carlos Alves.

Carlos Alves, Economist: “If we compare the prices of today with those of 2013, that was the worst point of the crisis, we see price increases in Porto of more than forty-two percent (42%).”

Forty-two percent (42%) in five years.

Porto seems a really good investment — for those who can afford it, that is.

Most Portuguese can’t: the average income here is only fourteen-hundred Euros (€1,400) per month.

Carlos Alves, Economist: “The crucial moment that explains the tourism boom here, was when Ryan Air started flying to Porto.”

Paula, and many long-time residents of the inner-city have started falling victim to the boom. The mother of three had to vacate her apartment at the beginning of the year: she could no longer afford to pay the rent.

The cook then moved in with her parents. It’s a small space. A protest banner hangs from the window.

Paula Magalhaes, Porto Resident: “The mayor says we’re against tourists. But we’re not; we’re only against them being treated better than we are.”

But it’s not only the tourism boom that’s putting Porto’s real estate market under pressure.

Here’s what real estate agent Manual Mata has to say: “Before the crisis, around sixty-thousand (60,000) new homes were built each year throughout Portugal.

In 2014, there were only one-tenth of that number: six-thousand (6,000).”

It will take years for supply to adjust to demand here — too long for Paula and her parents. They’ll have to leave Porto.

Shortly after she moved in with her children, the notice came: her parents’ house is being turned into a hostel. Porto is gentrifying.

There is no room left for the low-income residents of the city center.


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1. Is the face Porto, Portugal changing or remaining the same? Are the buildings and structures changing or become dilapidated?

2. In Porto, you can only see local residents. Is this entirely true, mostly true, in the middle, yes and no, largely false or entirely false?

3. Are housing prices increasing, decreasing or remaining the same? Are the changes gradual or steep? Why have they been increasing so dramatically? Can most Portuguese afford the cost of a house?

4. “The crucial moment that explains the tourism boom here, was when Ryan Air started flying to Porto.” What does this mean? What were the consequences?

5. Who is considered “more important”, local residents or foreign tourists?

6. Both Paula and her husband have to work in order to meet living costs. Is this right or wrong?

7. What may happen to Porto in the future?


A. My city or town is popular among tourists. Yes or no?

B. Are housing prices increasing, decreasing or remaining the same?

C. Is there a sharp divide or conflict of interest among local residents? What does the government think?

D. What is happening or what could happen in the future?

E. Should the government or residents do anything? What can locals do?

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