Felipe Beuttenmüller Lopes Silva M.A.
Dept. 2: History and Social Sciences
Institute of History, Department of History of Technology
work +49 6151 16-28561
• History of technology
• Infrastructure history
• History of the Global South
• Critical infrastructures
• Urban development
• Identity history
Repairing Critical Infrastructure Systems – Repair, Maintenance and Innovation of Lisbon's Public Transport System in the Second Half of the 20th Century (working title)
During the 20th century, Lisbon grew in size and population. Portugal's neutrality during the Second World War and political focus on the country's economic growth led to a growing middle class between 1940 and 1960, concentrated mainly in the capital. The flow of new residents as well as commuters travelling daily from the surrounding areas to work in the capital's industries led to an increased load on the transport network and thus to major circulation problems for the city. The trams were also no longer able to transport the quantity of passengers, so many Lisboners resorted to the car. This manifested itself, for example, in the repetitive evening traffic jams between 6pm and 10pm that dominate the lives of citizens.
This increasing congestion on the roads and in public transport led to the creation of the Metropolitano project – the metro. With the development of innovation projects like the Metropolitano, the government consciously and actively tried to tackle the problems of circulation in the capital without ignoring the importance of the existing infrastructure, such as the trams. Thus, parallel to the development of the Metropolitano, the strategy to maintain the tramway was also pursued: Even if the tram was no longer sufficient to transport the growing number of users, its failure or neglect meant a deeper circulation problem for the city.
Based on this development in Lisbon, the dissertation project deals with the question of the role of repair of critical infrastructure systems in the urban context using the example of the transport system in Lisbon. For this purpose, the development of local public transport – especially the tram and metro – its impact on the circulation problems of the Portuguese capital and the socio-technical transformation of Lisbon's transport system will be examined. The research project focuses on the concept of repair, with an emphasis on repairing, maintaining and innovating of critical infrastructure systems.