NovaTerraConnected Cities/ february 2007 / 32
Jorge Humberto and Gaspar Gonçalves, Universidade da Beira Interior (UBI), PortugalFrank van der Hoeven, Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), NetherlandsPhotos: Jorge Humberto and Gaspar Gonçalves
The activities of the Connected Cities network include showcaseworkshops. These are based on a give-and-take formula in which apartner can invite other partners to illustrate an inspiring case studyor present an issue or a problem and ask for advice. The ‘Mobility inCovilhã’ showcase is a clear example of the latter. Showcases areprepared in advance. In the case of Covilhã the local authority andthe university produced a lengthy paper and a comprehensivepresentation. Both documents provide insights in the maincharacteristics of the town and the mobility problems it faces. Lowdensity mountain town Covilhã, founded in 1186, is a large town of 35,000 inhabitants in the eastern midlands of Portugal. The town islocated on one of the hillsides of the highest mountain of continentalPortugal. Around half the population live in Conceição, Santa Maria,São Martinho and São Pedro, the four central parishes. The urban areaof Covilhã has a low population density, only a third of the nationalaverage.The easiest way to describe Covilhã is to divide it into three parts: theuptown, the downtown and the new town. The uptown includes thehistoric centre, old residential buildings, churches and services suchas banks, insurance companies, medical services, shops, the town hall,local government offices, police and fire brigade, the main universitybuildings and day care centres. The downtown has the train station,
Steep gradients in Covilhã uptown.
Covilhã: mobility ina mountain town