The Montijo municipality wants to become, increasingly more, a destination for investment, assuming that goal as its «battle». It wants to continue attracting families, companies, services and talent.
This was the municipality showcased during the first webinar in the cycle «As Cidades Amanhã» (Cities Tomorrow), organised by APPII, which presents an opportunity for mayors to be in direct contact with real estate developers and investors and it «is only together that we can build our cities», defended APPII president, Henrique Polignac de Barros, at the start of this webinar.
Montijo’s mayor, Nuno Ribeiro Canta, was the guest speaker for this webinar, which took place on the 22nd of April. The mayor is convinced that a serious, honest and transparent «articulation» between private players and the public sector will be the way to reinforce our position and overcome the crisis generated by the pandemic. We have the obligation as a society, to work together towards this recovery, leaving no one behind».
One of Montijo’s main goals is to encourage social cohesion and inclusion, which he believes are the foundation to create a safe and unique investment destination, different from many other European cities: «safety is a something that distinguishes Portugal and the Lisbon region from other countries and cities. Social integration provides safety to those who work and to those who invest and it is fundamental to involve real estate investors in the process as well», he stated.
Increasing the areas dedicated to companies and businesses «is part of our strategy to create local employment», one of the municipality’s goals to contribute towards this social cohesion and the balanced development of the urban fabric, «essential to promote a feeling of belonging». The creation of this type of jobs in the region «will allow families to be more integrated within their local community».
These jobs in the region «go hand in hand» with the municipality’s environmental concerns, reducing Co2 emissions and contributing to mitigate the consequences of climate change. It would avoid many trips by car to Lisbon, currently taken by one third of the population living in the Setubal peninsula. «Environmental concerns are always more favourable towards entrepreneurship, competitiveness and growth of the economy and employment», he added. The city hall is also working to complete the city’s expansion with the creation of public facilities, such as Kindergartens and green areas.
Another of Montijo’s focuses is on urban renewal. An example of that is the affordable housing project the municipality will develop in Fabrica Isodoro’s (Isidoro’s factory) former terrains after having imposed its right of preference to buy them.
60 affordable dwellings will be created in these terrains targeting young families. «This will be a very interesting investment within an area close to the river, with a close connection to the idea of a «Mini-Expo», described Nuno Ribeiro Canta.
Airport will be fundamental to attract investment
For Nuno Ribeiro Canta, Lisbon’s airport expansion towards Montijo would be fundamental for the city’s consolidation and to attract investment: «Some of the neighbouring mayors are against it. But it is an important option for us. It will allow the attraction of other types of investment within the Lisbon region, especially from companies needing to be close to an infrastructure like this one».
«Investing in the airport is much more than investing just in Montijo, it is a way of boosting the other side of the river, it will create new dynamics between the municipalities». The mayor is also convinced that «it is possible to have development while respecting the environment and the territory and Montijo has experience doing that». That is why «we fight narrow-minded views». If the project becomes a reality, the mayor admitted «we will need to build more and the current municipal masterplan still has 180 hectares for urban expansion».
In any case, he guaranteed that «it is not for lack of decision about the airport that there is no interest in this territory, every day we receive investment intentions. But it will be a fundamental element to build the two riverbanks’ city, that is why we find the opposition of some municipalities so strange», he concluded.