Portela (Loures) - Geography


Bordering the urban parishes of Moscavide, Sacavém, Prior Velho and the municipality of Lisbon (parish of Santa Maria dos Olivais), Portela includes approximately 20,000 inhabitants in an area of about one km². It is located barely two kilometres from Lisbon's International Airport and at the intersection of two of Portugal's main road axisways: the A1 (Lisbon-Oporto motorway) and A12-IC17 CRIL (Circular Regional Interior de Lisboa) inter-urban ring-roadway (linking it directly to the Vasco da Gama bridge and the southern part of the Tagus estuary. The parish is situated on a gentle slope running west to east forming a slight plateau. Starting from the southern edge of the Seminary of Olivais, the southern border extends east to the on/off-ramps of the Vasco da Gama bridge, then follows the motorway northeast until the intersection of the A1-E1 cloverleaf interchange. The border then follows the A1-E1 west until the interchange at Avenida Mal. Craveiro Lopes, where it bypasses the Avenida Dr. Alfredo Bensaúde, instead following the Estrada da Circunvalação until the Largo dos Bombeiros, before returning to the Seminary. It is several blocks north of the Parque das Nações (English: Nation's Park), which lies in the neighbouring Santa Maria dos Olivais.

Its demographics identify an area that includes 41% youth, while only 5.6% seniors, indicating a relatively young population; infant natality (130) to mortality (63) from 1997 identifies a community that is growing (1997). Portela is a high-density residential neighborhood situated on the northeastern section of Lisbon's city boundary. It is the home of 11809 people, most of whom commute to Lisbon for work and leisure.

The Commercial Centre of Portela (Portuguese: Centro Comercial da Portela), the Church of Cristo Rei da Portela, the Parque Desportivo da Associação dos Moradores da Portela, the Seminary of Olivais and the parks of Almeida Garrett and Descobertas, are examples of the urban social and cultural structures that have attracted residents to the area in the past. The Centro Comercial is situated in the heart of the civil parish, at the former-centre of the communities traditional centre. It was remodelled and reinvigorated to include new shops such as computer and technology, spas, clothing/apparel outlets and shoe shops, in addition to banking. The Church of Cristo Rei da Portela is the pride of the Catholic faith community; erected slowly, through local contributions, it is a significant modern architectural design uncommon to the other Portuguese styles. The parish's two heated pools (25 x 12.5 metres) are used for competitive competitions and swimming classes, while another pool (12.5 x 8 metres), operated by the municipal company GesLoures is used for classes and training. The facilities were one of the few buildings to the constructed to be energy efficient, recycling energy, utilizing solar panels and reducing the consume of energy and emissions of carbon dioxide. The Parque Desportivo has three tennis courts and field, an esplanade and a swimming pool. Generally, the parish is a linear alignment of roads, comprising a hundred 10- to 12-storey buildings, that form a rectangle which has a circular shaped shopping centre and a 20-storey tower at its very middle point.

With a large population density (approximately 12430 inhabitants per square kilometre), the parish is equipped with many collective structures including water supplies, sewage treatment, garbage pickup (with access to landfill in Vila Franca de Xira) and recently the canalization of natural gas. In the northwest corner of the civil parish, on the corner of Avenida do Ralis and the Estrada da Circunvalação, remains a degraded part of this modern civil parish, consisting of dozens of bungalows, abandoned buildings and ruins.

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