Free wi-fi in Public Spaces
The Príncipe Real Garden is among the Lisbon’s most popular green spaces. It is located close to the Bairro Alto, a vibrant, trendy neighbourhood and a lively bohemian paradise for young people.
The garden is pleasant and shady, having in its centre a hundred-year-old flat white cedar (Cupressus lusitanica) with a crown diameter that exceeds 20 meters. The tree looks like an umbrella, casting a pleasant shadow over the benches. The Garden is an attraction for both residents and tourists, both enjoy the atmosphere of the garden within the noise neighbourhood. Here old men play cards and children play in the playground, couples sit in the shade of the old cedar. An organic product market and an urban craft fair takes place weekly in the garden.
In the Garden there are two kiosks/restaurants that offer free wi-fi for their guests.
This small romantic garden has almost one third of its area covered by wi-fi, provided by the two nearby kiosks/restaurants. Offering wi-fi is considered an advantage for attracting more customers, both regular and occasional, including tourists. Interesting here is the fact that not the council but the kiosk tenants who offer this service.
This an example of the supply of free wi-fi in public spaces in Lisbon, it is taken from a series of cases analysed by Urban Planning PhD students in 2014. The conclusion of the Lisbon case is stated as:
- Nowadays there is no municipal free Wi-Fi network implemented in public spaces.
- Most kiosks provide Wi-Fi, which is usually part of a service pack, where TV offer comes first.
- Despite being an investment, most tenants consider this service beneficial for business, by attracting more users.
- The recent kiosk and green space refurbishment by the council did not consider a Wi-Fi network in its framework.
(Pita at al. (2014) in: Smaniotto Costa, Menezes, & Mateus (eds.) How would tourists use Green Spaces? Case Studies in Lisbon. Project CyberParks – Cost TU 1306. Extretextos (Vol. 52). Lisbon. Retrieved from http://www.ceied.ulusofona.pt/pt/investigacao/publicacoes/entretextos/19...)
Lisbon City Council and kiosk tenants