Learn about PPS's Three-pronged Approach to Drive Change
Case Studies 

Rua Augusta



Contributed by 
Project for Public Spaces
January 7, 2002
December 14, 2017

Rua Augusta is the main street of Lisbon's central shopping district. A pedestrian street, the views up and down the hills of the city, and through to the Praca Commercio, are incredible. All manner of streetlife and activity abound.

What makes it Great?

Why it doesn't work?

Rua Augusta, like all successful streets, performs two key functions: it takes you somewhere, and you enjoy simply being on it. The street is a huge sidewalk, with cafes and shops along it, as well as temporary vendors and information kiosks down the middle and at intersections.

The street itself is beautiful, made up of Lisbon's famous black and white pavers, and designed such that each intersection offered a view of the adjoining hillside neighborhoods. In addition, either end of Rua Augusta is capped by a focal point, the PraÕ_a do Com_rcio on one end, and the Rossio on the other. Not only do these points draw the walker along, they also are important destinations in the city itself.

While Rua Augusta is a bit touristy, and the cafes, while famous are somewhat tired, it has an amazing life its own, and features so many great innovations in maintenance and practice that it deserves to be featured. See photos for more details.

Access & Linkages

Comfort & Image

Uses & Activities


How Light?

How Quick?

How Cheap?

History & Background

The Baixa was once the commercial heart of the city, but that role is fading. These streets once housed all the city's banks and many of their tradespeople, including jewelers and shoemakers. Surrounding streets bear the names of the trades (Rua do Ouro, Rua dos Sapateiros, etc.) and, thanks to rent control, some shops remain.

The Baixa lies on a true rectangular grid, laid out by the MarquÕŽs de Pombal in 1755 after an earthquake decimated large parts of the city.

Related Links & Sources

Rua Augusta
All this flower vendor needs is a few plastic crates and an umbrella.
Rua Augusta
Maintenance on the street is done the old-fashioned way.
Rua Augusta
Infomation kiosks and portrait artists are also to be found on this popular, touristy street.
Rua Augusta
Rua Augusta
Rua Augusta
Rua Augusta
Rua Augusta

*Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.


Corrections or additions? Email info@pps.org
Related Articles & Resources

More Related Articles

Learn about PPS's Three-pronged Approach to Drive Change