On July 27, Melgaço inaugurated the first Pop-Up Shop. The anchor store of the project “MelgaçoTem Pop-up” is in one of the main streets of the urban center of the town of Melgacense, at Rua Dr. Afonso Costa. The initiative aims to revolutionize the commercial dynamics of Melgaço.

A vila melgacense é a única localidade portuguesa integrante do projeto europeu URBACT “Re-grow City”, que tem a cidade alemã de Altena como exemplo de boas práticas de revitalização das cidades em declínio. O projeto é coordenado pelo arquiteto José António Lopes.



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. The main objective is to revive urban centers that show a prolonged decline as a result of the lack of commercial animation and to reverse the loss of population. The strategy therefore involves the temporary occupation of vacant commercial spaces. By adopting common measures, cities are finding solutions, together with the community, to reverse the loss of population.

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

The phases of the project:
Three months of free occupancy and three months of symbolic rent of 1€ per m2, paid to the owners.


We intend to move forward in September with three stores in operation – at Rua Drº Afonso Costa and Praça da República – and with some of the proposed applications already installed, aiming, in the short term, to have many more spaces adhering to the concept.


Read the news of A Voz de Melgaço here.