“In March 2016, I was given the opportunity to join this initiative and sign on to the New York Proposal. I am absolutely positive that Inclusive Growth is the necessary answer to the inequalities and injustices which characterise the current social-economic situation. Municipalities, through their close contact with the people, and their knowledge of local realities, are the most qualified entities to put this development model into practice. The main elements of our participation are bearing witness to the ongoing projects that comply with our goal of social inclusion and simultaneously gaining knowledge of different experiences in other countries.”
– Mayor Basílio Horta
Basílio Horta was elected Mayor of Sintra in 2013, and President of the Metropolitan Council of Lisbon in 2014. Previously, he founded the State Agency for Investment and External Commerce (AICEP) in 2006, and served as the Ambassador of Portugal to the OECD. From 1975 to 1984 he was a member of Parliament. Prior to his political career, he worked as a magistrate, taught political law at the University of Lisbon, and was General Director of the Industrial Portuguese Confederation.
Sintra uses its Strategic Plan for Youth to deliver municipal facilities and services that provide young people with opportunities. Strategic priorities include identifying local opportunities, staff training, increasing engagement with young people, offering more opportunities for youth to be involved in the community, better addressing the needs of young people, enhancing urban spaces for youth, and creating leadership roles for youth.
The FabLab Sintra (Fabrication Laboratory), is an entrepreneurship and employability project that promotes integration in the labour market created for the community, which results from a partnership established between the municipality and SEA – Agência de Empreendedores Sociais. With the aim of providing everyone with the possibility of creating ‘almost everything’, materialising creative and innovative ideas and creating new jobs, the FabLab provides training, equipment and computer and digital technologies.
Sintra City Council works with, and has committed 124k euros to financing, several local organisations to support the most vulnerable communities. The Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Sintra provides food, bathhouse and mental health services, Casa de Sant’Ana houses unsheltered women, and the OLHO VIVO Association supports migrants arriving in the city in terms of employment, health, social support, interculturality and citizenship.
Sintra City Council runs a digital inclusion program for seniors to promote digital inclusion of seniors in the municipality and prevent social isolation. The program ‘65 + Janela Aberta para o Mundo’ (65+ Window open to the World) provides tablets and training in their use to seniors resident in Sintra, and is part of the Municipal Plan for Active, Healthy and Inclusive Aging of Sintra.
The Sintra City Council works with the Volunteer Firefighter organisations of Montelavar and Queluz to provide the Social Taxi Program, a service offering non-urgent transportation of elderly citizens to establishments offering health services for free. The service facilitates access to healthcare such as consultations and therapy, for individuals in economic need, who can take up to 12 roundtrip journeys per year.
Sintra runs an education centre for young people with special needs ‘Mira Sintra Centro de Educacao Paro o Deficiente’ to provide educational opportunities for all. The centre serves around 1,500 people, including children, young peaople and adults in need of specialised support. Several programs are offered adapted to the needs and characteristics of participants.