Cidade Desportiva da Maia | Maia, Portugal | LRC – Arquitetura Paisagista

Over the years, a few sports facilities were built on a central city block of Maia, Portugal. With the lack of a master plan, the many buildings and equipment were built according to the needs of the moment.

The urge to integrate the sports block into the urban fabric and to offer diversity in sports and green spaces determined the construction of the Cidade Desportiva da Maia, which was inaugurated in October 2018.

The park has a total area of 10 hectares and it seeks to complement and reinforce the existing sport facilities such as football, athletics, shot put, outdoor gymnastics, skate park and parkour and it creates informal recreational spaces as well.

The following aspects were also a part of the park program:

▪ Demolition of structures that were obsolete with the consequent increase of the permeable and planting areas.

▪ Definition of fast-crossing routes (considering the mobility of disabled people) linking public transportation, schools, the health care center and other sports facilities.

▪ Definition of paths with different levels of difficulty, either designed for leisure or walking, taking into account the interconnection with the eco-route of the city and the Leça riverside routes.

▪ Possibility of day time and night time uses as well as holding events such as music concerts, sports competitions or holiday camps.

▪ Consolidation of Maia’s Edge Space, that is, the urban green corridor with reduced spatial expression that connects the city center to the green corridor of the Leça river.

The proximity of the park to hospitals and health centers, sports facilities, schools and to the city hall – civil protection services and law courts, has determined a design that also considers safety issues and allows to respond to public emergency situations by transforming the sport fields into heliports and field hospitals and the lawns into emergency camping. There are also water harvesting infrastructures and reservoirs that are suitable for supplying the park in the occurrence of these events.

Cidade Desportiva da Maia

Location: Maia, Portugal.

Landscape Architecture: LRC – Arquitetura Paisagista
Architecture and Engineering: Célia Mota; Gaspar Freitas and Serafim Almeida

Photography: Carlos Dias, Laura Costa and João Archer

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Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at