International expositions are improvement opportunities, to create something strong and innovative in terms of town planning, and in most of the cases, they determine the urban development of the cities where they are held. The accomplishment of the 1998 Lisbon World Exposition – EXPO 98 – established a pretext for the elaboration of an urban and environmental operation in the eastern zone of the city, a work of reference in the Portuguese scenery.
This reconversion benefited not only from a favorable political context but also from national and international funding. A “Global” event that goes far beyond the borders of the countries where it takes place, defined by political strategies, whose purpose is to promote the competitiveness of a given city in an international context. An opportunity for Portugal set his position to the European partners, to put the “city on the map”.
The theme of the Lisbon International Exhibition was: The Oceans, a Heritage for the Future, with the purpose of commemorating the 500 years of the Portuguese discoveries. The name reveals a connection with Portuguese history and, on the other hand, environmental concerns and the sustainability concept, taken as a paradigm of the exercise of urban renewal, and therefore integrated as a ground-breaking national goal.
The plan of Expo’98 proved to be a challenging project for Portugal and Lisbon because it includes two intrinsic projects: the Lisbon International Exhibition and the urban regeneration of an area of about 340 hectares. The area chosen to host the world exhibition was the eastern boundary of the city, along Tejo River, the intervention made possible the regeneration of a large territorial area, depleted and degraded, becoming an urban core with characteristics and exception.
In order to analyse these issues related to the establishing process, execution and management process, as well as the evaluation of results, will be presented and analysed these waterfront operations, implemented in the urban context of Lisbon.