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European Innovation Council

Second place: Cascais (Portugal)

The Rising Innovation City category - second place: Cascais (Portugal)


Cascais has always grounded its experience and growth on experimentation and innovation processes, by developing ideas, prototyping and replicating good practices.

A long established practice of participatory citizenship models combined with Big Data analysis and ICT development are a consistent part of its community’s nature. The city’s integrated strategy assure that all activities implemented by the Cascais municipality need to look to the future, considering all the past and present decisions and making quality of life a certainty.

It is in this environment that the Living Lab for Innovation in Public Policies has emerged: an innovative approach to seek and experiment the region. By creating spaces for interaction between the various players, bringing innovations from private enterprises to the service of the community, and the community itself identifying problems they confront, co-created solutions have allowed integrated, organic and experimental development, and the replication of good practices.

The city’s community is called upon to bring ideas and knowledge to be tested, replicated and disseminated across national and international networks.

DNA Cascais invests in entrepreneurship, in the training and qualification of human resources and attracting investment and talent. This initiative has enabled Cascais to remain competitive and appealed to a skilled population and new businesses, while remaining concerned with well-being and quality of life.

Therefore, so many different projects seek to enhance the values of inclusion, accessibility and representativeness such as Viver Cascais, which allows free access to universal health care service or to the renewed public transport network, for residents, students and local workers.

Innovative cities are not only bound to the present challenges and Cascais has been able to direct its activities to the environment, with the aim of achieving carbon neutrality. Therefore it implements sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices and adapts to climate change.