Quinta do Mocho was for many years the most stigmatized of neighbourhoods in Loures, associated with poverty, crime and ethnic exclusion.
Through Loures’ membership of the C4i project, a determined effort was made to change the district’s image amongst the citizens of the wider region. During October 2014, a set of breath-taking frescos were painted on 33 buildings in the neighbourhood, with the help of 2000 artists and local residents, 25 NGOs and 43 private companies. The area was transformed into a Public Art Gallery. The aim of this 3 days’ intervention, known as “O Bairro e o Mundo” (the neighborhood and the world), was to change the image of the neighbourhood, which used to be considered as a dangerous no-go-area. It helped dismantle old prejudices against residents from diverse backgrounds and increase their self-esteem, interaction and the sense of belonging to the neighbourhood.
Since October 2014, the C4i team in Loures hosted 46 visits from enterprises and artists, including 28 guided tours and 18 media tours and including interviews for newspapers, television, radio and internet. In addition, at least 80 news items from around the world covered the neighbourhood regeneration process.
The evaluation of the initiative, made through empirical observation and an extensive survey, demonstrated that it has contributed to fostering social cohesion and local development through cultural expression. Furthermore, it contributed to changing the image of the neighbourhood and increased perception of safety. As a resident of a nearby wealthier area posted on the “O Bairro e o Mundo” facebook page that, thanks to the event, she had overcome her fear of visiting Quinta do Mocho, after 10 years’of living “on the other side of the avenue.” So, with her family, she just crossed the street to see the frescos.