Lisbon’s getting greener. In the last years it has changed from a diamond in the rough to a bona-fide city capital trying to do the right thing for the environment. In 2018, it won the European Green Capital for 2020, having since then redoubled its efforts to become even more environmentally friendly. Old, more polluting cars are barred from entering the city center, miles of biking lanes have recently popped everywhere, right next to its white-stone sidewalks and city apps provide electric bicycles and scooters to brave its many hills. When visiting Lisbon, look for its greener side in the following places and projects:
PLANT YOUR OWN TREE
Every month, Lisbon’s City Council promotes the “Plant your own tree” event. Its aim is the reforestation of the city’s parks and valleys, as well as raising awareness for air quality and the promotion of water retention in the city’s soils. It is also a way of knowing areas of Lisbon off the beaten path. The City Council regularly opens registrations online for the event and they are open to everyone, so be sure to grab the chance if you plan on visiting!
People love to watch birds. That’s why everybody with a camera loses their mind when some male peacock suddenly appears and flaunts his train (that’s the technical name for their tail feathers). In Lisbon, particularly by the Tagus and Trancão rivers, there’s a great biodiversity of birds, from the common pigeon to the majestic flamingo. The city provides designated areas for birdwatching, complete with watching spots – with a list available online. You’ll also discover new places by the edges of the city, and even in Tagus southside: the seasonal flamingos await in the Tagus estuary, just beyond the salt ponds.
LISBON’S GEO MONUMENTS
In ancient times, Lisbon used to be underwater. Well, not Lisbon, but the lands that would one day be the city’s cradle. Today, many of its rocky hills are made of fossilized skeletons of sea creatures – metal! – and the l has specific tours, available online, dedicated to many of its geo monuments, all on display with informative plaques. It also doubles as an alternative city tour, sure to lead you to the city’s most hidden, recluse and beautiful neighborhoods. Just wait until you reach Campo de Ourique!
…AND MANY MORE
We could stay here all day. From Lisbon’s Greenhouse to Belém’s Botanical Garden, from the educative tours of the Oceanarium on the importance of preserving the environment to the private efforts of companies like Fruta Feia (a company that only sells “ugly fruit”, rejected by supermarkets chains for their shape), from the monthly swap markets that contribute to a more sustainable living to the impossibly beautiful village of Sintra, just a quick train ride away, Lisbon is more than keen to being green.
And, because the city is open to environmental projects from its residents, so are we. Greener things are coming, and we’re excited to tell you all about it… soon enough. Meanwhile, drop by when you’re visiting. If your feet are tired from all that nature walking, we’ll offer you a chair. And coffee! Or tea. You get the picture.