Valongo is a Portuguese community of 100,000 inhabitants in the northern region of Porto. With the project “More Informed Community, More Participative Community”, Valongo municipality has combined a variety of initiatives to inform its citizens on local issues and promote active participation.
Acting against a climate of mistrust and misunderstanding of local management processes, the community’s representatives wanted to push for more transparency and increase civic participation. Thus they are providing citizens with detailed information on municipal processes and are making the use of public resources transparent. With its actions, the municipality has created what they call “Super Citizens”: citizens who critically understand the community’s challenges and efforts and are therefore empowered to participate in local management processes.
Awarded as Best Practice from the International Observatory for Participatory Democracy and recognized widely as an innovative initiative for participatory democracy, the project has also increased the municipality’s’ ranking in the Transparency Index in Portugal.
José Manuel Ribeiro, Mayor of Valongo Municipality, Portugal