“The Municipality of Lisbon is committed to making the city a land of opportunities. A city that participates, is sustainable, innovative and with culture at the centre of its activity. Lisbon is a capital made with people and for people. The challenges are enormous. We know that it is in the urban space that the advances and improvements in the quality of life of our times materialise. Mayors are key actors in the lives of communities. They’re close to the citizens, and they have a special ability to lead the transformations necessary to address inequalities.”
– Mayor Carlos Moedas
Carlos Moedas was elected Mayor of Lisbon on September 26, 2021. Previously, since 2014, he was the European Commissioner, and was the Commissioner responsible for Research, Science and Innovation, one of the world’s largest science and innovation projects worth 77 billion euros. He designed the proposal for the future Horizon Europe programme worth 100 billion euros. In 2011 he was elected a Member of Parliament by the Beja constituency and appointed under-Secretary of State to the Prime Minister of Portugal where he was tasked with coordination of monitoring the adjustment programme structural reforms. Prior to his political career, Moedas worked as a civil engineer, at Goldman Sachs, and ran his own investment management company. He has a Master in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School, USA and a degree in civil engineering from Instituto Superior Técnico (Lisbon).
As one of Europe’s 100 cities for the mission of being carbon neutral by 2030, almost 40% of Lisbon’s budget is dedicated to climate neutrality and climate action. Lisbon is tackling climate change by improving city mobility in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The city is redesigning its cycling network to improve safety and functionality, and promoting the use of electric vehicles. Public transport is free for young residents and the elderly. The city is boosting its renewable energy generation with the introduction of photovoltaic plants, and the Lisboa Solar program aims to develop widespread use of solar energy across the city. New construction projects, such as social housing projects, are focusing on improved energy efficiency by installing roof and wall insulation, and hot water systems powered by solar energy. The city is making a gradual shift to using LED bulbs in city street lighting. Lisbon has also adopted a resilience action plan as the city is particularly exposed to natural shocks.
With 48,000 dwellings in Lisbon currently abandoned, the city recognises that rehabilitation will be integral to meeting demand. To address the need for affordable housing, Lisbon started a Supported Lease Program that aims to provide a variety of homes below market rental rates. The city convened the Municipal Housing Council in order to get a true understanding of the housing needs of the city, and gather input on sustainability, combating energy poverty, and avoiding factors that push low income groups to move out of the centre.
Lisbon hosts the annual Web Summit forum on global technology and is in the process of implementing best practice urban strategies to facilitate life in the city, for example by creating free wi-fi networks and an app where it is possible to make reservations for activities in the city, including tourism attractions. Lisbon is developing a World Innovation Centre in the Sea Economy and aims to attract companies and institutions working with blue biotechnology to the city.
Lisbon in encouraging stakeholder engagement and has a Citizen’s Council that examines issues such as climate change, municipal taxes, and COVID-19 recovery measures for affected businesses, in order to better inform and develop the city’s inclusive economic strategies. The municipality believes social welfare can and should have a local dimension, and is enhanced by fostering partner involvement.
The city is also embracing digitalisation as a means to enhance transparency and has created a Transparency and Anti-Corruption Department. New processes involving the city services include providing real-time updates on requests and the name of the person handling the enquiry, improvement of the digital portal for service requests, and facilitating data access.