Housing as an instrument for sustainability
The municipality of Lourinhã - also known as the Portuguese lighthouse of innovation - was selected by the European Week of Regions and Cities to present an EU talk on city projects related to Green Europe topics.
A lot of innovative projects have been undertaken in Lourinhã aimed at achieving integrated results in terms of quality of life, sustainability and urban management.
Miguel Reis Silva, who works as an adviser to the Mayor of Lourinhã and directly manages sustainability programmes in the municipality agreed to participate in this session on behalf of Councillor Joao Serra, who was ultimately unable to attend the event. Mr Silva gave a nearly 30-minute speech in which he presented the best success stories and experiences of the city related to housing as an instrument for sustainability projects.
During his talk, Mr Silva presented to the audience the projects undertaken in Lourinhã and its comprehensive vision as regards understanding the social dimension and its proper framing in the urban space of cities and regions. The speaker highlighted examples of projects on street lighting, where the city changed more than 200 lights and reduced costs by 83%, solar power in public buildings, where they installed almost 2 000 solar panels, as well as an electric mobility project, which the municipality of Lourinhã is working on jointly with 12 other regions.
Take away message
Through social housing projects, Lourinhã - known as a nest of sustainability and science - is changing citizens' lives, with its focus on social housing a vector for increasing and improving sustainability. Cooperation is needed in this area and Lourinhã is indeed an example of how smaller and medium sized cities can intervene on sustainability and help in overall terms to re-balance urban and rural areas and improve the quality of life for all citizens.