On March 4 during the event “Marathon of Transfers”, the good practice of the Melgaço Tem Pop-Up project will be presented. The architect José António Lopes in the role of coordinator of the working group of Re-grow City Urbact will talk about the success story of this initiative.

During the event which will take place in an online format, the 19 national partners of the URBACT Transfer Networks will leave their testimony: it will be a moment to share the experiences and results of the projects implemented in Portugal.

The Melgaço Tem POP-UP project started in 2019 and since then, the creation of seven temporary stores was originally created, taking eight more new applications approved, and they are expected to open during the month of March. It is recognized in Europe and an example for other regions. The main objective is to revive urban centers that show a prolonged decline because of the lack of commercial animation and to reverse the loss of population. The strategy therefore involves the temporary occupation of empty commercial spaces. By adopting common measures, cities are finding solutions, together with the community, to reverse the loss of population.


Transfer Marathon

The Transfer Marathon is the National Sharing Event (National Sharing Event) that marks a final stage for these URBACT networks. The initiative is an opportunity for partners to share, at regional and national levels, what they have learned from networking and to extend the transfer of good practices to more cities and promote dialogue with investigated parties. It will also be the time to reflect together on the successes and difficulties they have gone through, proposing solutions.

URBACT Experts Maria João Rauch and Miguel Sousa will lead the event, which will run from 9:30 am to 4:50 pm, organized in four combined. Program at https://urbact.eu/urbact-em-portugal. Anyone interested in deepening or knowing the URBACT method can participate, including professionals in the field of sustainable urban development, politicians at regional and local levels and all relevant audiences on urban issues. Registrations made here: http://bit.ly/InscriçõesMaratonadasTransferências.



From the beginning, the project proved to be a success. It revolutionized all the commercial dynamics in the center of the village, being recognized internationally. Today, Melgaço is an example across Europe!

This project to boost the local economy was born in Altena, Germany, and has the partnership of Melgaço, in Portugal, Idrija, in Croatia, Nyirbator, in Hungary, Aluksne, in Latvia, Isernia, in Italy, Manresa, in Spain, and Igoumenitsa, Greece.

In Melgaço, the challenge was well accepted, both with store owners and entrepreneurs. «It was very successful. It took a lot of work and demanded a lot from everyone, but there was a huge involvement of society and this generated a climate of confidence and optimism, which remains to be done. », Referee the architect José António Lopes.

How it works?

The owners of empty stores are giving away the spaces free of charge, so that small entrepreneurs can open their businesses to the public. The trial period is three months, so that we can understand whether the business is viable or not. If you intend to continue in the commercial space, you will start to pay a symbolic monthly rent that, in Melgaço, is up to one euro per square meter.

As phases of the project:

– Three months of free occupancy and three months of symbolic rent of  1€ per m2, paid to the owners.

More than complying with the proposed contract with URBACT and verifying a better-provided practice than any of the program partners, the innovative dynamics of the Melgaço process are internationally recognized, even constituting a reference and an improvement to the set of good practices. -practices of the Re-grow City program, surpassing the experience of the leading partner that served as a yardstick, the municipality of Altena.


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