International conference on the perspective of “Sighting the Future from Açoteias”

Açoteia Festival is about to start

Photo: Hélder Santos | Sul Informação

The international conference “Sighting the Future from Açoteias” takes place this Friday, June 21, at 14:30 pm, on the second floor of Fábrica da Cerveja, in Faro. 

According to the Chamber of Faro, this initiative is «the high moment of Açoteia – Faro Rooftop Festival», which takes place from Thursday to Saturday, 20 to 22.

With free admission, the conference will present national and foreign speakers, as well as a participative work methodology that invites all those present to design new challenges for the city.

Lívia Tirone (Portugal), architect specialist in sustainable construction, Léon van Geest (Netherlands), director of the “Rotterdamse Dakendagen” (the festival of rooftops from Rotterdam which in 2019 had about 22 visitors) and Ralf Alwani, director of Urban Scale Interventions, a creative agency that responds to changes in the way we live and work through people-centered design, are the main speakers at the event. .

They will aim to inspire those present to think about roof terraces and the upper spaces of buildings in a more sustainable and creative way, through examples of their own work.

This international conference "departs from the traditional pattern of this type of event insofar as it intends to involve the entire community and be highly participated", reveals Paulo Santos, vice-president of the Chamber of Faro with the responsibility of Culture.

Thus, in the second part of the conference, all those present will be called upon to collectively formulate questions with potential mobilizing regarding the use of roof terraces throughout the year.

The conference follows the 1st European Rooftops Meeting organized by the Municipality of Faro in January of this year and that it brought together various elements of the community with a set of cities. entities and people dedicated to organizing festivals or initiatives similar to Açoteia – Faro Rooftop Festival, and also municipalities that are starting to design strategies to promote these spaces.

With this meeting, the municipality intended to take advantage of the experience of other cities and entities and absorb from them good practices and ideas for the realization of Açoteia – Faro Rooftop Festival.

It was also the objective of this initiative to promote the creation of the European network of rooftops which brings together cities, diverse entities and people with similar interests, seeking to propose a European agenda for the promotion of more sustainable cities, with a more solidary community spirit and promoting the use of these spaces in a cultural and creative logic.

Several examples of the cities present in this network can be seen in the Rooftops4Europe exhibition that will be on display at Rua de Santo António, in Faro, from the 19th to the 23rd of June, also as part of the Açoteia festival.


Conference program:

14:30 pm- Welcome

14:45 pm- Main Speakers
Livia Tirone, Portugal
Leon Van Geest, Netherlands
Ralf Alwani, Northern Ireland

15:45 pm- Collective construction panels on innovative issues:
Sustainability /Community /Arts

18:00 pm- Final Reflections


Keynote Speakers:


Livia Tirone (Portugal)

At the beginning of his professional career, he created and implemented innovative and sustainable solutions for the construction industry in Portugal. It was later invited by the European Commission to develop legislation in the area of ​​energy efficiency, sustainable smart cities and innovation. She is the curator of the “THNK School of Creative Leadership – Location Lisbon”. In the public sector, she was invited to define the strategy and lead the Lisbon Energy and Environment Agency. She is co-founder of the “Sustainable Construction Initiative” and coordinated the “Sustainable Construction Living Lab”, a platform that brings together various agents in the construction industry, including the final consumer, with the aim of promoting sustainable construction in Portugal. It publishes articles and promotes workshops in the field of sustainable construction, including in the area of ​​living rooftops.


Léon van Geest (Netherlands)

He is the director of “Rotterdamse Dakendagen”, Rotterdam's rooftop festival which in 2019 received around 22.000 visitors. He has extensive experience in the area of ​​social and community intervention. In your opinion, the rooftops they have the conditions to improve cities, making them more sustainable and inclusive. Therefore, he believes that this festival is an opportunity to promote change. Develops activity in the area of ​​socio-economic innovation with a view to the development of cities.


Ralf Alwani (Northern Ireland)

Ralf Alwani completed a master's degree at the “Royal College of Art”, specializing in new cities and large urban projects. Since then, he has been a consultant on several public, community and residential architectural projects. He is director of “Urban Scale Interventions”, a creative agency that works on changes in the way we live and work, through people-centered design. His studio is leading the development of a project, which aims to analyze the effect of the regeneration of bridges and banks of the River Foyle on the emotional well-being of the people of Derry Londonderry, linking the private and public spheres. Ralf is an active member of the “Royal Society of Arts” and has had work published in journals in the fields of mental health, architecture and design.