The experience of Lisbon demonstrates that it is possible to rehabilitate deteriorating living quarters in historical city centres without excluding poor populations in the process.
The two methods most frequently used by municipalities to renovate a neighbourhood are to demolish existing housing, in order to make room for new housing, or to undertake expense work to increase the tourist or commercial value of the area. Both methods reject marginalised populations by pushing them to the periphery. That is why the municipality of Lisbon opted for a third way, not seeking a radical transformation but instead limiting intervention to the strict minimum necessary to render the decaying zones inhabitable.
In making it a priority that housing is historical town centres remains for the benefit of more modest populations, it was possible to improve the quality of life for these people while simultaneously respecting the identity of neighbourhoods and combating social exclusion.