Cascais, Portugal

  • City population: 
  • City/Urban area: 
  • Population Density: 
    More than 500 inhabitants per km²
  • GDP - country: 
    USD$ 30,662

Cascais: it all starts with people

Cascais’ motto is ‘Cascais: it all starts with people’. It has been a member of the International Association of Educating Cities (IAEC) since 1997. During the celebrations to mark European Year of Citizens 2013, Cascais was chosen as the Capital of Citizenship and Democratic Participation. In 2018, the city will host the 15th International Congress of Educating Cities and will be European Youth Capital.

Vision and Motivation

Cascais has sought to consolidate its democratic citizenship and sustainable development policies. The city has focused on fostering active participation, citizen-led decision-making channels and social entrepreneurship. By joining the Global Network of Learning Cities, Cascais is aiming to strengthen and deepen its institutional relations at the national and international levels.

Challenges and Goals

  • Youth and non-formal education policies
  • Local education and knowledge promotion policies
  • Social cohesion
  • Sustainability
  • Intelligent city policies
  • Economic development and cultural prosperity

Plan and Implementation

Cascais has developed a framework for the implementation of the Learning City concept that focuses on four axes: land-use, people, present and future.
Axis 1: Land-use

  • Creation of pedestrianized public spaces
  • Creation and maintenance of green areas
  • Promotion of community, domestic and school vegetable gardens

Axis 2: People

  • Creation of non-formal education spaces inside and outside of schools
  • Creation of vocational courses using experimental methodologies
  • Creation of specialized initiatives to boost inclusion and school success rates

Axis 3: Present

  • Establishment of a local volunteering database, establishing a strategy for collaborations between entities and citizens
  • Creation of a participatory budget

Axis 4: Future

  • Promotion of employment/employability skills training (for people aged 18 and above) and youth volunteer placements
  • Establishment of new companies to attract professionals to the area
  • Development of partnerships with universities


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