Challenges & Oportunities

Projecting a prosperous future for the municipality of Póvoa de Varzim is founded on an understanding of its cultural, strategic and political path.

Póvoa de Varzim is part of a country project that, after the establishment of the democratic regime in 1974, needed to overcome disconcerting realities: housing deficits, precarious infrastructure, very low levels of education and poor medical assistance. 
It is also part of a wider community, which has its own challenges and opportunities. It aims, as part of the European Union, among various objectives, to strengthen economic, social and territorial cohesion and solidarity between countries, while respecting their cultural diversity. As part of the Portuguese-speaking world, which is the official language of nine countries, often alongside other mother tongues, Portuguese serves as a crucial factor in the cultural union between peoples of distant countries. And it has, through language, the possibility of cooperation in sustainable urban development strategies. As part of the Metropolitan Area of Porto, Póvoa de Varzim also benefits from the opportunity to agree supramunicipal solutions for the social well-being of approximately 1,700,000 inhabitants living in 17 municipalities.
Póvoa de Varzim, notwithstanding this horizon of opportunities and even though its development indicators meet the country's average, also shares some of the current national challenges, such as the still unsatisfactory levels of qualification of the population, school dropout and failure rates, and functional illiteracy, with implications in terms of civic and cultural participation and employability, in particular among young people. Each municipality contributes to national efforts to diversify the economy, reduce inequalities and combat ageing. It is also necessary to seek answers to new questions that arise: the effects resulting from the instantaneous changes in the digital environment, which bring almost universal conflicts, migratory flows, as well as changes of supply and relations in the labour world.

In this sense, Póvoa de Varzim bases its development on its territorial vocations and consistent policies of cultural promotion, especially literature, as a foundation capable of facing the structural and contemporary challenges of the municipality and the country. The commitment established with culture and creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development is shared by multiple partners, both public and private, at local, regional, national and international levels.
Becoming part of the recent and thriving community of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network will represent a valuable step in the cultural and international trajectory of Póvoa de Varzim. Póvoa de Varzim has never been alone. Its historical and strategic vocation is to fraternize. It will reinforce this through dialogue with the other Cities of Literature.
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