Lia Vasconcelos


Lia T. Vasconcelos, PhD in Environmental Engineering – Social Systems (1997); Master in Community Planning (1982), University of Rhode Island, USA; Architect, 1977, ESBAL, Lisbon.

Professor at the Department of Environmental Engineering, FCT New University of Lisbon and researcher at MARE - Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre ( focuses her research on innovative decision-making processes, namely in developing methodologies for engaging multi-stakeholders in collaborative processes towards new forms of governance in collaborative public policy in planning and environmental management.  

Principal Investigator and Founder of the WTeam up Participation and Empowerment (since 2001) a group of action-research in collaborative processes, which one of the objectives is to improve interactive methodologies (

She has coordinated the project MARGov – Collaborative Governance of the Protected Marine Areas that won the Prize Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation / Occeanarium of Lisbon: Sustainable Governance of the Oceans (Set. 2008-2011) a project that aimed to build a model of collaborative governance for the Marine Park of Arrábida with an active participation of the social local actors and a diversity of institutions to be replicated in other marine protected areas (

More recently,  she has, among others, coordinated the participative component of the project in the FCT – New University of Lisbon, MARLISCO - MARine Litter in Europe Seas: Social AwarenesS and CO-Responsibility (, funded by the EU (FP7) aiming to promote the Social awareness and co-responsibility of society to address the marine litter.

She has also coordinated the project:

P-GERE – Public Participation in Waste Management: Risk Communication and Public Participation (2005-08) aiming the development of an integrated for the location and implementation of a waste management infrastructure  (Project POCTI/AMB/61566/2004 (2005-2008), funded by the  Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT/MCES);

And the participative component of the projects:

Cova da Moura – Processo de Intervenção Participada Socio-Territorial, (2006) a project to promote innovation in the intervention of urban public policy through new forms of governance - (Cova da Moura – Socio-territorial Intervention Process, Project “Iniciativa Operações de Qualificação e Inserção Urbana de Bairros Críticos, Resolução do Conselho de Ministros nº 143/2005, de 2 de Agosto”);

DOURO LIMPO – Douro Limpo - Campanha de Sensibilização e Educação Ambiental no Alto Douro Vinhateiro  2006-2007,

Presently, she coordinates the Group of the Sea, a consulting body for the Strategic Council of the Marine Park of Arrábida, being a follow up of PosMARGov, a group that has emerged out o the MARGov project. In FCT-UNL she is the coordinator of a joint project  FCT-FE-FCSH, VoW – Value of the Wave and Ocean Culture that aims the development of a Model for the valuation of the coastal areas for the wave sports, with the intense involvement of the association SOS Surf.

She is member of the directive board of the SPECO (Portuguese Society of Ecology -, active member of LPN (League for the protection of Nature- and since 2009 member of CNADS (National Council for the Environment and Sustainable Development).

She has several scientific papers published and she has been editor/co-editor of several books: (1) Environmental Activism in Society (2002), (2) TAIDIS – Cidadania Ambiental, Informação e Participação/Citizenship, information and participation in the context of the Aahrus Convention (2006), (3) Cidadãos pelo Ambiente, conservação da natureza e biodiversidade em Portugal / Citizen for the Environment, nature conservation and biodiversity in Portugal (2009), (4) Governância e Participação na Gestão Territorial / Governance and Participation in Territorial Management (2009), (5) Ambiente, Ciência e Cidadãos / Environment, Science and Citizens(2010), (6) An Ocean of People: citizen scientists and scientist citizens / Um Mar de Gente: cidadãos cientistas e cientistas cidadãos (2013), (7) Sustainability in the 21st century – The Power of Dialogue (2015).

Full CV -