Welcoming Statements

Rui Moreira

Mayor of Porto

The city of Porto has an inevitable relation with water. To the north, the sea is part of the landscape. To the south, the Douro River serves as its boundary and endows it with bridges. Additionally, the entire city is crossed by watercourses of varying sizes, either on the surface or underground. The rediscovery of this landscape and environmental asset, closely linked to the population, has over time been transformed into an axis of sustainability for the city, its territory and its social and economic dynamics. 

As part of implementing the Municipal Sustainability Strategy, whereby water plays a key role in city planning, Porto has become a living laboratory for intelligent urban technology necessary to create a Smart City. Porto represents a model for integrated management of the urban water cycle, a management model based on the vanguard concept of Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) meant to sustain ecosystems, healthy lifestyles and sustainable subsistence modes. 

In the last week of September, the city of Porto will be the European Capital of Water and Innovation. The city will host a number of events and conferences serving as the stage for discussing the main themes and challenges in this field. 

On September 27 and 28, Porto will have the honour of hosting the 4th EIP Water Conference, an initiative promoted by the European Commission (EIP Water) and organised by a consortium led by the Municipality of Porto and consisting of Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil, Águas de Portugal and Parceria Portuguesa para a Água, in addition to receiving institutional support from the government of Portugal. With the triple goal of breaking down barriers to innovation, creating business opportunities and fostering knowledge sharing, the conference will also include various discussion panels moderated by some of the foremost European experts from the water and innovation sector and various presentations of innovative technological solutions. 

The European Commission also selected the city of Porto to officially launch the Urban Water Agenda 2030 at the Mayors & Water Conference 2017, on September 29. Cities pose veritable challenges for efficient and sustainable water management. This conference is a milestone in the process to define a common strategy that actively contributes to fulfil European Union environmental objectives. European mayors and city water management specialists, representatives from central and regional governments and from hydrographic regions, regulators, legislators, utilities companies and research institutes will be called upon to participate in the discussion covered by this Urban Water Agenda 2030. In doing so, together we may create opportunities for urban renewal and development of local communities and adopt intelligent solutions to boost economic growth and competiveness. 

And because the future begins today, Porto invites young persons from 18 to 35 years of age, who are passionate about innovation within the context of water and effective communication between cultures, to be part of Water Innovation Lab Europe Porto 2017, to be held from 24 to 29 of September. This programme will be developed by Waterlution Canada in partnership with the Municipality of Porto, a unique and unforgettable intergenerational and cross-sector learning experience, based on collaboration between young leaders, mentors and facilitators. 

Recently elected the Best European Destination, Porto is known as a land of strong and genuine sentiments and for its proud inhabitants of striking personality. For one week, Porto will also provide a variety of initiatives involving the city’s inhabitants and visitors and meant to foster thoughts on water and innovation, transposing the origin of Porto’s culture from Downtown to the City Park (Parque da Cidade), in which water will play a key role in the city’s identity. 

The city’s water resources belong to everyone and are for everyone. Join us from 24 September to 1 October in a broad discussion about Innovation for Water! 

Porto waits for you! See you soon.


Rui Moreira 

Mayor of Porto

Porto Water Innovation Week

Alfândega Porto Congress Centre, Portugal


24 to 30 September