Recognized as the birthplace of nationality, it plays a central role in the history of the construction of Portugal. D. Afonso Henriques, the founder of the country, was born in Guimarães, and from there set out to conquer the territory that is now Portugal. According to the latest known data from the 2011 Census, Guimarães has 158.108 inhabitants, spread over a 240.955 Km2 geographical area. The municipality is divided into 48 parishes and parish unions. The vast majority of the Guimarães population lives in the most urban areas of a very industrialized municipality, the fifth largest national exporter. With a strong focus on the requalification of its territory and heritage, Guimarães is internationally recognized as an example in the rehabilitation and preservation of its Historic Centre, having been distinguished in 2001 as Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. In 2012, Guimarães had the opportunity to show the world its history and culture, after been selected as European Capital of Culture. The following year, it would receive yet another distinction, European City of Sport, a first in Portugal. A year where, in addition to promoting sports practice, it encouraged its citizens to become healthier, increasing their quality of life. Guimarães is home to one of the most prestigious universities in Europe, the University of Minho, strongly rooted in the Municipality and linked to the development of the region as a whole.

Sustainability challenge

Being aware of the importance of preserving its heritage and improving the quality of life of its citizens, Guimarães has built a path to promote the sustainable development of its territory. An environmental diagnosis was performed to the city in 2014, focused on Transport and Mobility, Energy, Climate Change, Water Resources, Green Areas, Nature and Biodiversity, Waste and Eco Innovation, which made it possible to develop various instruments for integrated management, helping to establish a long-term vision on the sustainable development of the territory. At that time, new challenges were established, including a close relationship with a long standing strategic partner, the University of Minho, by using knowledge, science and innovation to solve current problems and find solutions for the future. Therefore, a local strategy for the sustainable development of the territory was developed, for the involvement, education and awareness of the population to this design – the “Guimarães Mais Verde” Project.