The "Shops with history" project was created by the Lisboa City Council in 2015 driven by a sense of urgency in preserving and revitalizing this heritage, knowing that it embodies a relevant part of the city's identity and character and is, at the same time, an important social and economic mechanism for its development. After intensive documentary research and fieldwork, the Lisbon City Council approved the criteria for awarding the " Shops with a history " distinction and the responsibilities of the working group and advisory council in 2016. The first 82 stores were distinguished by municipal initiative. Then, each store for itself started to apply for the distinction, in accordance with the City Council’s regulation, which establishes, among other requirements, that the store that submits the application has to have at least 25 years of activity.

One of the priorities of the city of Lisboa is to work with the traditional and historic businesses in the city with a view to conserving and protecting them and their material, historic and cultural heritage and energising and reinvigorating the commercial activities essential for their existence.

In Lisboa there are 186 distinguished iconic shops (155 still working), 113 retail stores, and 49 restaurants. To support the distinguished stores, a Municipal Fund was created for recovery and restoration works, cultural initiatives or business improvements. At least, 61 shops got financial support provided – 630,000 euros. Also, landlords are exempt from paying annual tax IMI on distinguished properties. This is a benefit created by city council’s initiative. In a word, this project has been a true role model. Inspired by Lisboa’s “Shops with a History”, other Portuguese cities have themselves created similar projects to preserve and revitalize iconic shops. Lisboa’s project was distiguished as a Case study – Good pratices by UrbAct.

Lojas com História :: Ofícios | Doc #1 from Câmara Municipal de Lisboa on Vimeo.

Shops with a history