How would you describe the inhabitants of Guimarães?
Welcoming when you earn their trust. Proud with a twist of tribalism, for the best and the worst. Still a very socially asymmetric community fond of hierarchy and status, but with many talented people pushing it forward.
Why do you love your city?
I find it a place of encounters and possibilities on a peculiar and human scale: urban meets nature, industrial crosses rural, contemporary culture builds on heritage. A place I quickly felt at home.
What’s the best place in your city and why?
Depends! The city park to hang out for a while and play with the kids. The local Cineclube headquarters for a movie. Cor de Tangerina’s charming backyard for delicious vegetarian food and natural juices. Penha’s tavern under the rock’s for a fresh green wine in the summer… But above all I would say my balcony looking out over the mountain.
What can we learn from your city in terms of city making?
The current transformations concerning urban development that started in the 1990s, including the focus on its cultural heritage and potential, show that a city is the outcome of policy and the financial means to fulfil it. But most relevant are the people. The sense of pride vimaranenses (people from Guimarães) feel, and the connection to their roots, is something unique and part of the collective project of building the city and somehow the core of its self-fulfilling prophecy…
What’s the biggest challenge your city is facing?
I’m not sure what kind of city current policy makers envision it to be in 10 years from now. I would like to see the city connect with the youth in particular and give them the space and means to take active part in creating that future.
Why should BRAND open a flexible office in your city and who would be our first client?
Guimarães hosts many events and institutions that would be potential BRAND clients: international events, local festivities, small businesses, the University or even heritage sites. Apart from that I would find interesting to see BRAND’s broader insights on connecting urban development to its citizens, working together towards sustainable goals through local action.
Images: Guimarães Turismo