Vila das Aves
|Vila das Aves|
|• Total||6.07 km2 (2.34 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,400/km2 (3,600/sq mi)|
Vila das Aves, population 8492 (2001 Census), 6 km², is an industrial town and parish (freguesia) in northern Portugal. It is located in the municipality of Santo Tirso, 6 km to the northeast of the municipality seat, the city of Santo Tirso proper, bordering the parish of Lordelo in the municipality of Guimarães. Vila das Aves (which translates as Town of Birds) is nowadays, after Santo Tirso itself, the most important town in the municipality of Santo Tirso.
Vila das Aves and neighbouring communities are heavily reliant on textiles for jobs and income. The industry was once vibrant and not so long ago was still causing rush hours when workers were changing shifts; it is now declining, and many ghost factories, some of them architectural monsters, scar the landscape. Although the industry is declining, its effluents still pollute the nearby river Vizela, rendering it black and foamy most of the time and detracting from the beauty of its green banks. The decline of the textile industry has brought unemployment and social problems. However the enterprising local population are pressing ahead with the regeneration of the community. Services are displacing textiles as the main economic activity, and investment in real estate has been growing, fuelled by young demons moving in, attracted by the town’s high quality and low cost of living.