The Tagus River goes through Spain before flowing into the Atlantic Ocean on the Portugal coasts. Approximately 15km links the Tagus and the city of Lisbon.
During the 20th century, the river banks were mainly linked with industrial activities, creating an important separation between the river and the city. There were no public accesses.
At the end of the 1980s, the inhabitants of Lisbon began to request more accesses to the river bank. Around the same period, the economy of the maritime and industrial sector declined. Some warehouses and dockyards were abandoned. The Portuguese government and local authorities took this opportunity to plan some new urbanisation projects and make the Tagus river bank as a place of leisure, culture and tourism.
Over the years, various plans have been made. The period between 1988 and 1998 was particularly favourable with projects opening up a new era and new prospects for both the river and the people of Lisbon. The most important ones were the Belém Cultural Centre and the 1998 Universal Exhibition. The latter, seen as a great example of urban planning, has been particularly significant allowing a major rehabilitation project in a vast industrial site (Parques Das Naçoes) to develop public and leisure spaces, new housing and cultural facilities.
Even today, the shores of Lisbon continue to develop. Over the last two decades, various projects have been suggested and improvements have been made, always in order to provide new leisure and cultural spaces. His accomplishments have undoubtedly allowed the city to prosper and improve its quality of life. They have also enabled Lisbon to be recognised as a cultural and tourist destination.