In the center of Viana do Castelo, the revitalization of urban areas and the preservation of architectural and cultural heritage is being achieved through the creation of the Historic Centre Urban Rehabilitation Area (ARU). This area includes the medieval core and the surrounding areas of urban expansion, relying on the experience of architects in Viana do Castelo.


Objectives and strategies of the ARU

The Viana do Castelo Urban Rehabilitation Area was designed to boost economic and sustainable development in the region. In this sense, its main objective is to strengthen rehabilitation, with its strategy based on three essential pillars:

  • Creating a favorable regulatory environment that encourages urban rehabilitation, offering fiscal and economic incentives;
  • Facilitating access to funding for urban regeneration, allowing owners and rights holders to make significant improvements to their properties;
  • Stimulating economic activity in sectors related to urban rehabilitation, promoting the creation and maintenance of jobs in the region.


Direct effects of creating the ARU

The implementation of the ARU in Viana do Castelo brings several direct benefits both to builders and owners and to the city itself. Some of these effects include: 

  • Simplification and streamlining of licensing and prior communication procedures for urban planning operations;
  • Possibility of defining tax benefits by the municipality, including exemption from Municipal Property Tax (IMI) and reduction of Municipal Property Transfer Tax (IMT);
  • The right to access fiscal and financial support and incentives for urban rehabilitation, such as a reduction in VAT from 23% to 6%;
  • Easier access to financing for rehabilitation works.


Additional benefits for the community:

In addition to the individual benefits, the community as a whole also benefits:

  • Exemption from IMI for 5 years: property owners in the area designated by the ARU enjoy exemption from IMI for a period of five years;
  • Exemption from IMT on the first onerous transfer: Exemption from IMT on the first onerous transfer of urban buildings or fractions;
  • Reduction in administrative fees: 50% reduction in administrative fees charged by the City Council in processes related to rehabilitation works;


As a result, the creation of the ARU for the Historic Center of Viana do Castelo represents a significant milestone for sustainable and integrated urban development. Architects play a crucial role in this process, collaborating not only in the rehabilitation of buildings, but also in the creation of new urban spaces.

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Reading this information does not dispense with consulting the legislation in question:
Description and justification;
Creation of an urban rehabilitation area (ARU) – area of the detailed plan for the historic center – incentive scheme;
Limit of the ARU of the historic center of Viana do Castelo.