European study shows Porto’s strategical alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals

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Porto is part of a six cities pilot group analysed in the “Building urban datasets for the SDGs. Six pilot European cities monitoring the 2030 Agenda” study. Created by the European Community’s Joint Research Centre, the work encompassed the identification and gathering of the city’s performance indicators, to evaluate the commitment degree to the goals of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) declared by the United Nations. The results were presented this week - European Week of Regions and Cities 2021.

The city has focused in goals such as, “Sustainable Cities and Communities”, “Eradicate Poverty”, “Drinkable Water and Sewage”, and “Sustainable Consumption and Production”.

The study enhances that “along with the focus in local identity”, Porto has developed investigation, entrepreneurship, and innovation. The city “is committed to becoming more resilient and innovative” supporting “new businesses and promoting spaces where ideas can be shared”, mentioning the “innovation ecosystem” created by Porto Innovation Hub. And the prize “Smart City Innovator Award”.

Mobility is presented as one of the challenges the city faces to meet the 2030 Agenda. As a response to the large amount of people that come to Porto on a daily basis, the town “has developed solutions that help smooth mobility, improving the offer and quality of public transportation and promoting the intermodal mobility”.

Some of the indicators of the city’s commitment to reduce its ecological footprint were the signing of the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, and acceptance of the reduction of CO2 emission for 50% until 2030.

Actions such as “School Solidarity”, the Monitoring System for Infant Nutritional Status and Physical Activity in First Graders, the attention to food waste, “Embrulha” project, or the “collection of organic waste” are mentioned as examples of what the city is doing to reach SDG.

Maintain competitiveness set on sustainable measures

From the analysis, we are sure that “in the next couple of years, it will be important that Porto maintains competitivity nationwide, in Europe and internationally, sustaining the social and economic growth rate, and adopting sustainable development measures that work in sync with the identified challenges”, be it mobility, housing or the ageing population.

European Community Joint Research Centre’s report enhances Porto’s cooperation with its first Voluntary Local Report, recommended by the UN, a document that identifies the more transformative actions implemented by the city, the ambition and goal achievement, the main challenges, the gaps, and the critical success factors, to political choices suited to reality.

The study underlines ongoing processes of information gathering such as the observatories of cohesion and public housing, the Porto’s Open Data Portal, a collaborative interface between the City Hall, citizens, companies, and other institutions “it will serve as a support to the decision making” and the “well informed policy and strategies drafted”.

A last point that the study couldn’t leave out is related to the response to the Covid 19 pandemic. In this area, Porto’s example is mentioned, referring to Data4COVID19 project and “Shop in Porto” among other initiatives.

We can read in the document that “In the past years, Porto has been visibly involved in this process and acted in a way to fulfil sustainable development goals. That is demonstrated by the Municipal Master Plan, that establishes the City’s seven main strategies and related guidelines”,

Besides Porto, represented by Maria Oliveira Pacheco, from Porto’s University, Spanish cities like Seville and Valencia, Bratislava, in Slovakia, the Italian Commune Reggio Emilia and the Finish Oulu and Turku, were also studied.