Portuguese municipalities best practises highlighted at the 4th Congress of Family Friendly Municipalities

Ílhavo, Albergaria-a-Velha and the municipality of Santo Tirso presented in Brussels, at the 4th Congress of Family Friendly Municipalities, some of their best practices.

The 4th edition of the Congress of Family Friendly Municipalities, an initiative of European Large Families Confederation (ELFAC) and the European Network of Family-Friendly Municipalities, focused on the theme: “Digital future: Family friendly cities and innovation challenges” and met in Brussels on February 7th.

The Portuguese municipalities of Ílhavo, Albergaria-a-Velha, Santo Tirso and Águeda shared their good practices.

The municipality of Ílhavo, as part of the challenges of the digital transition to ensure support for families, provides a multidisciplinary team that, among other interventions, creates spaces for sharing in relation to digital literacy and also parental control in the school community, involving students and parents.

In the community and more directed to the senior community, the municipality of Ílhavo also offers computer classes to promote good digital literacy, as it goes further by providing people with digital and technological tools for daily and everyday use, such as the simple explanation of how to make a digital bank transfer or how to avoid fraud and introduction to financial literacy. With the aim of bringing the family closer together in a context of globalization, classes are also developed on the use of social networks or applications that aim at distance communication.

In the case of Albergaria-a-Velha, local policies are aligned with the vision of a digital future in order to promote inclusion and leave no-one behind.

The municipality’s initiatives include the digitization of public services, the development of digital platforms aimed at educating children, young people and parents on various topics, and the implementation of a local program offering instruction in programming and robotics. They also set up direct online communication channels with the mayor and offer telecare services specifically designed for the elderly.

Further north, in the municipality of Santo Tirso, the Municipal Digital Skills plan has an ongoing administrative modernization project, which highlights: digitization of private works processes, online submission of applications, creation of digital platforms, with emphasis on the Gobusiness platform (attracting investors), the restructuring of the Municipal GIS and the reinforcement of the digital skills of municipal workers.

Aimed at civil society, the municipality of Santo Tirso has developed actions including the creation of the santotirso.pt digital space, decentralized training actions in the parishes to promote the digital skills of residents, the creation of free Wi-Fi access points in public spaces and schools, the reformulation of the municipal one-stop shop, the creation of partnerships with entrepreneurs to sponsor training spaces in the municipality and the creation of the mentoring program for digital inclusion.

Águeda has released a video presenting the Águeda Living Lab (ALL) initiative, which consists of a technological and educational space open to the community, families, schools and entrepreneurs in the municipality. The initiative aims to encourage the exploration, experimentation and application of technology for the betterment of the community. To this end, it develops a number of initiatives, such as: Experimentation Workshops, Digital Fabrication and Rapid Prototyping Equipment; Educational Community Involvement Projects as well as guidance and support for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Unfortunately, due to technical problems, the video cannot be played.

Ílhavo, Albergaria-a-Velha, Santo Tirso and Águeda won in 2023 the green flag of the Portuguese Observatory for the Family Friendly Municipalities for ‘Family-Friend Policies’, an initiative of the Portuguese Large Families Association.

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