German MPs visit the city and learn about development projects

  • Article


The Konrad Adenauer Foundation organised a visit to Porto by the CDU (Christian Democratic Union) parliamentary group from North Rhine-Westphalia. The German politicians had the opportunity to discuss the city's development, its major challenges and projects for the future with the mayor of the City Council, Rui Moreira, at the Palácio da Bolsa.

'Porto is historically a city open to the world, with a multicultural matrix and a strong communion with European values,' the mayor emphasised during the meeting, reminding the German MPs, led by Thorsten Schick and also accompanied by the president of the parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia, André Kuper, that because of the Liberal Revolution (1820), Invicta is still identified today as the 'city of freedom' - 'political freedom, but also economic and social freedom'.

But after the doldrums that hit the country during 48 years of dictatorship, and 'by local political decision', at the turn of the 20th to the 21st century and until 2013, 'investment in the trinomial of memory, heritage and culture was subordinated and the city's élan was lost', even though during this period two events gave Porto some of its international prominence back: the classification of the Historic Centre as a World Heritage Site in 1996, and the European Capital of Culture in 2001.

'When I began my terms as Mayor of the Porto City Council, in 2013, culture was considered one of the three pillars of the city's development strategy, along with social cohesion and the economy', Rui Moreira emphasised, adding: 'an unprecedented artistic, curatorial, museological and editorial momentum was then generated in Porto's municipal cultural institutions and facilities. This momentum remains to this day, with new protagonists and actions'.

Following this commitment to culture, Porto experienced a visitors boom and the tourism sector started to have a pivotal role in local economy development. According to the mayor, 'Porto has gained an attractiveness that surpasses mere tourist interest'. 'As such, the city recovered its historic capacity to act as a hub where talent, knowledge, culture and investment meet on a European scale,' he emphasized.

The city recovered its historic capacity to act as a hub where talent, knowledge, culture and investment meet on a European scale."

To the German CDU MPs from North Rhine-Westphalia, and after recalling the major projects carried out in recent years - the redevelopment of Mercado do Bolhão, the Batalha Cinema, the old Industrial Slaughterhouse, the Alexandre Herculano School or the Municipal Public Library, among others - Rui Moreira assured that: 'Our idea is to make Porto a more territorially cohesive city. To this end, we are improving transport systems, densifying the housing stock, promoting the shared use of spaces and services, and establishing greater interconnection between territories'.

'We are a forward-looking city, open to foreign investment, international cooperation and multicultural dialogue. Despite being more European today, Porto is still a city with its very own soul, way of thinking, feeling and acting', he concluded.