Lisbon counts over 60 ‘priority intervention neighborhoods’ (BIPs) or ‘zones’ (ZIPs); neighborhoods that need some serious improvement. Since 2007, BIP/ZIP (Local Development Strategy for Neighborhoods or Areas of Priority Intervention), part of Lisbon’s Local Housing Program, has been supporting local projects and municipal partnerships, improving the social and territorial cohesion in the neighborhood.
Through local projects and partnerships they partly support, BIP/ZIP manages to reduce the gap between decision makers and citizens, creating extended local networks. Citizens have been more involved in the development of their neighborhoods and are gradually regaining trust in public decision making process and municipality services.
In 2013, BIP/ZIP supported 49 projects and was awarded the seventh Best Practice in Citizen Participation award by the OIDP (International Observatory of Participatory Democracy). This year, over 100 applications were received.