Elected for the 2017/2021 period Miguel Pinto Luz, Vice President of Cascais, manages areas such as Mobility, Smart Cities, Cultural Animation and Promotion, Innovation and Communication, Tourism and Economic Development or Entrepreneurship, among others.
Graduated in Computers and Electrical Engineering and with a Master’s degree in Computer Networks, why did you turn into politics?
Although my academic background is in engineering, I believe that politics is a way to help people. I am an engineer, I look at the world in a structured and planned way. I believe we can be practical and solve problems. The policy must have a strong practical component.
Regarding politics, what have been the best moment during your career?
I don’t really have a defining moment. I like what I do. Working in a city hall is rewarding. I enjoyed being in the central government, but there is nothing like the policy of proximity, the policy that allows immediate interaction with the population, the policy that provides concrete and immediate action. The best of politics is utility and not personal feelings.
Cascais, a great destination
Cascais is a great destination to visit and to live. What makes is so special?
In Cascais we have everything: an excellent gastronomy (with fish and seafood from our Atlantic coast), sun, sea, countryside, business, culture, diversity, security, transportation, mobility, multiculturality. But especially because it has a sea coast with 30 kilometers which combines beaches of wild nature with more urban ones.
Because it combines the blue of the Atlantic Ocean with the green of Serra de Sintra in a unique landscape that deserves to be immortalized in a postcard. Here is sunny most of the year and this serves not only for dives in the sea, as for great outdoor walks. And it has seven golf courses, each of them with a green designed by a different architect, all of them with beautiful surroundings.
And that’s important to you. Because it preserves the charm of ancient times, when it was the summer destination of the Portuguese Royal Family.
However, Cascais is not just all this. Cascais stands out in Portugal, being the most innovative municipality in the areas of technology, education, entrepreneurship and innovation.
It is not by chance that we have the most modern and advanced university campus in Portugal: the new campus of NOVA SBE (NOVA School of Business and Economics) is the most prestigious business school in Portugal and a leading business school in Europe). It’s not by chance that we are chosen to be the stage of the most important congresses and conferences (for example: Horasis Global Meeting, the small Davos).
Also, the municipality of Cascais organizes, since 2009, the Estoril Conferences: a meeting place of thinkers and renowned personalities gathered to discuss the most pressing issues related to globalization. Five editions and almost ten years later, three-hundred speakers including Nobel Prize laureates, Heads of State, politicians, entrepreneurs, academics and journalists have shared their views on the current world with thousands of spectators. Madeline Albright, Tony Blair, Garry Kasparov, Edward Snowden, Frederick de Klerk are some of them.
The wonderful Cascais bay is also one of the favorite racing courses of the best skippers in the world, where they compete for the Dragon World Championship, TP 52 Superseries, Extreme Sailing Series or RC44. Enough? I could continue…
Is Cascais ready to be a city for the modern era?
Cascais is already in the modern era. I can cite the prize we received at Cannes at the World Summit Awards, in the category of Government & City Engagement (as an example of a modern smart city).
But many more distinctions were made. For example, in 2014, Cascais won the award for best sustainable destination at the Vistas-VISION Innovation for Sustainable Tourism Awards 2014.
The Washington Post recommended Cascais as one of the ten best cities to live in. Just look at the demand that the Municipality of Cascais receives from multinationals, from foreign schools, from many world artists, from cinema to sports.
In Cascais we like to say that it is the best place to live a life, a week or a day. And it really is.
For the WCGC, it is the opportunity to enjoy fantastic golf courses, unique hospitality, an environment and a fantastic time. I hope it will be a partner for many more years”
As your expertise in Computer Networks, do you believe that we should all aspire to live in smart cities?
Yes, of course. In fact, that’s the future. There is now a strong concentration of people in large metropolises. The management of the city must be made to think of the wellbeing of the people. The priority should be the connection between home and work. And this leads to an innovative mobility plan. To give time, or better, to give quality of life to families, should be the priority. And a smart city must be prepared to solve the real problems of citizens.
WCGC and Cascais, a long relationship
WCGC has been in Cascais for the last years; how can both (WCGC and Cascais) beneficiate from each other?
It is for us, Municipality of Cascais, an honor to receive the WCGC in Cascais. I think this is a very beneficial partnership for both sides. For us, Cascais, is a worldwide event, of great recognition and that projects the Cascais brand. For the WCGC, it is the opportunity to enjoy fantastic golf courses, unique hospitality, an environment and a fantastic time. I hope it will be a partner for many more years.
As Vice President of Cascais, Miguel Pinto Luz does play golf? Why yes/not?
Unfortunately not enough. I like golf. I like to see golf. It’s an exciting but, at the same time, relaxing sport. I hope in the future to have more time to improve my handicap. The World Corporate Golf Challenge will help increase enthusiasm.