Porto positions itself to strengthen the role of cities in a more democratic European Union

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The signature of Porto, alongside that of other European leaders, is now part of the Declaration of European Cities for Policy and Democracy. This week, the vice president attended the annual meeting of mayors in the Eurocities network in Barcelona, where he endorsed the call to strengthen the role of cities for a more democratic European Union.

"The current democratic challenges require that we, as the level of government closest to the citizen, take a stand to defend some of the key values of the European Union, namely democracy, equality, and the rule of law", says Filipe Araújo.

The vice president believes that "this coordinated action, involving more than 200 cities, comes at a time when, on the one hand, there are warning signs that should keep us vigilant, and on the other hand, about 75% of the population of the European Union resides in urban areas."

The signing of the declaration aims to strengthen democracies at all levels of governance, enhance citizen participation in decision-making, combat populism, misinformation, and all types of discrimination.

To achieve this, European leaders consider it essential to strengthen democracy, decentralization, and local participation within the Union, promote fiscal decentralization and local financial sustainability, highlight the urban dimension in policies, involve cities in the configuration of the presidencies of the European Union and the European Council, and reformulate the European Committee of the Regions to ensure greater participation of city and metropolitan area governments.

Simultaneously, the city of Barcelona also hosted the Smart City Expo World Congress, an event that brings together some of the most innovative corporate leaders, governments, and organizations to advance cities towards a better future.

Urban Dynamic Indicator is a finalist in the Excellence Award for digital transition

Together with the national representation, under the theme " Este será o Século da Cidades (This will be the Century of Cities)", the Municipality of Porto presented the Urban Dynamic Indicator (UDI), a tool to support city management based on traffic intensity data, public transport usage, internet usage on public buses, CO2 emissions, and noise levels.

Developed by Porto Digital, in partnership with the NOVA Information Management School, the Indicator is a finalist in the Portugal Digital Awards, which recognizes the excellence of organizations, teams, and business leaders who invest in the digital transformation of their businesses, processes, products, or services, and consequently, society as a whole.

Present at the exhibition, the vice president of the city council, who oversees the portfolio of Innovation and Digital Transition, mentioned the UDI "as another result of a very extensive strategy of measurement, collection, storage, and analysis of data in the Urban Platform, created and managed by Porto Digital, which helps position Porto in a privileged position in the landscape of smart cities".

In line with the Sustainable Development Goal - Sustainable Cities and Communities –, this tool serves to support short-term decision-making and policy design, as well as to respond to crisis situations and understand the evolution of urban dynamics in normal periods of activity.