“Inclusive growth and the fight against inequalities are permanent challenges for cities all over the world. As Mayor, I recognise that prioritising inclusive growth and the reduction of inequalities is extremely important due to the multiplying effect they have on the economy in general, making it possible to attract talent, stimulate innovation and promote entrepreneurship, leading to sustainable and inclusive economic development and the creation of shared wealth.”
José Manuel Ribeiro, Mayor of Valongo since 2013. He has a degree in International Relations, with an MBA in Business Administration and is a senior member of the Portuguese Trade and Investment Agency. He is also, among others, a Member of the European Committee of the Regions; Member of the Political Board of the Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, President of Board of LIPOR – Municipalities Association for Sustainable Waste Management of Greater Porto; President of the Portuguese Network of Participatory Municipalities; Member of the General Council of the National Association of Portuguese Municipalities; Policy Advisor of the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG). During the X (2006-2007) and XI Legislatures (2009-2011), he was a Member of the National Parliament, Consumer National Ombudsman between 2006 and 2009, and member of several Regulators Consultative Bodies.
José Manuel Ribeiro is a strong advocate of active citizenship and democratic values. Committed to building a plural society in which all citizens take part in the creation of solutions for the problems that affect their lives and the communities in which they live, he is a leading force in the implementation of varied and transversal municipal initiatives that promote active participation of citizens.
Within the framework of the fight against inequality and poverty, an initiative for the construction of houses for more deprived populations in Valongo Municipality has been initiated, with a potential direct investment of up to 80 million euros. Policies that promote the construction of housing for the most disadvantaged individuals play a pivotal role in the promotion of inclusive growth and the reduction of societal inequalities.
The commitment demonstrated in Valongo Municipality through the construction of social housing projects, aimed at addressing housing needs of families living in substandard conditions without the financial means to access suitable housing, has been of utmost importance. To date, 1170 accommodations have been provided, benefiting more than 2500 residents.
While this work is still in its early stages, substantial investments will continue to be made in the construction of social housing projects and the refurbishment of existing ones.
Education is considered a fundamental human right and a crucial factor for individual and societal progress. This premise has led to a significant investment in the school system within Valongo Municipality. A comprehensive renovation of school facilities is being carried out, with an investment of approximately 50 million euros. This investment aims to ensure that all students, regardless of their socio-economic background or origins, are provided with access to modern facilities, appropriate learning resources, cutting-edge technologies, and high-quality teaching.
The investment in schools is designed to guarantee access to quality education for children and young adults, irrespective of their backgrounds or origins. By offering equal educational opportunities, the foundations are laid for individuals to acquire knowledge and develop skills and abilities.
The ASA – We Believe in Active Seniors program, which has been active since 2020, encompasses 1100 elderly individuals from Valongo. Its objective is to enhance and preserve the health and quality of life of the senior population residing in the municipality. It involves their digital integration and promotes interaction with younger generations, as the strengthening of social cohesion through intergenerational dynamics is deemed essential in preparing for the growing challenges affecting civic, social, cultural, and economic cohesion in our communities.
This measure seeks to diminish feelings of loneliness and isolation among the elderly population, elevate levels of self-esteem, ensure equality in participation and access to digital tools, and cultivate a sense of active citizenship through the promotion of lifelong learning and leisure activities.