Miguel Pinto Luz is Vice-President of the Cascais Municipal Chamber. We have talked to him about security and the future of a city that is always looking ahead. Cascais is an international example in mobility and transformation into sustainability and as Smart-City.
Over the last few years, Cascais has been highlighted by all our players and guests as an excellent destination for tourism, based on the experiences they have had in cultural, gastronomic, nature, cultural heritage, architecture, beaches, golf courses. Apart from that, what makes Cascais the ideal place to live?
Cascais has a very culturally diverse population. We have more than 120 different nationalities living and working in Cascais, and this is a clear sign that we have made the right investments: on Health and Education, because people came on holidays, and wish to stay, first for the reasons you so well-appointed. Then when they realize Cascais can assure, the best services on Health and Education, along with safety and environmental care, it’s a win.
One of your main strategies has been to transform Cascais into a world-class Smart City. Is Cascais the city of the future?
The priority for Cascais is his citizens, and if technology comes to solve citizens’ problems and give them a better quality of life, then technology is a priority for Cascais. We do not understand technology as an end in itself; we are not addicted to gadgets. We like gadgets but gadgets or technology that solve citizens’ problems. That’s our position, and we don’t run away from it.
What does the development of Nova SBE in Carcavelos mean to you? How will it help to attract talent and business
Nova SBE is one of the most prestigious universities on business and economics, in Europe; a university that attracts students from every part of the world, more than 60% are international students, on masters degrees, that find here in Cascais the right environment to, after their studies, invest and live. Is an honour to us that Nova has chosen Cascais to settle and bring even more diversity to us. A very straight connection between Cascais civil society, Nova SBE and the municipality has been creating a lot of profitable synergies.
Since 2016 you have focused on improving mobility, how have you approached the transformation of the city into a green and sustainable one?
It’s an integrated project that allows who studies, lives or works in Cascais to use all the public transports, bikes and integrated parking, all in an app called MobiCascais. We also have a smart garbage collection system that provides more efficiency on the process; there’s also the origin of the energy we use, which comes on 73% on renewable sources. With these tools on our disposal, we can manage an integrated network that grants Cascais its 5th place on the more renewable energy city in the country.
You have just presented the agency Cascais Invest, what does it mean for the future and what are its goals for the coming years?
Cascais Invest is born to energize Cascais. It is an agency to attract investors. It will do the research of investors, as well as the follow-up. It’s strong support of the Municipality of Cascais. It will also have private companies from the Municipality of Cascais. Cascais Invest is already in the field, meeting with investors and presenting excellent business opportunities. We believe it can be a significant help for Cascais. The attraction of investment is now crucial for any city or country.
On a taxes level, what are the advantages of investing in Cascais?
Investing in Cascais is a sign of vision. We have a keen Council, with a vibrant economy. We try, in Cascais, not to get in the way of those who want to invest. On the contrary, we want to be partners. We analyze project by project. Always according to the law. But always with a focus on the future and the return. Besides the sun, the sea, the food, we also have an environment conducive to business.
Cascais has been an outstanding example to the international community for the safety measures adopted against COVID-19, and its effectiveness is beyond doubt. How do you want to convey to visitors that Cascais is at the forefront of prevention? What would you highlight about the actions taken in recent months?
Our COVID War Room has been a game-changer on this pandemic fight; it’s a Cascais Control Center that gives us a bird view of the city in real-time. This allows us is always one step ahead of this invisibly enemy. And therefore make the right moves.
We have many, many actions, that meant to promote the safety of our population, for example, boxes and houses of solidarity, the COVID Bus, Social support to the homeless, and our senior citizens, a 5 million social emergency fund, the creation of a mask factory in the municipality, a voluntary network, street disinfection and public spaces, increase in esplanade spaces and so many more. Cascais assured the key professionals to still have working nurseries even on confinement.
Cascais can secure its clean and safe, and their inhabitants all the well-being they deserve on this such a hard time for everyone.