The Matosinhos Municipality organized a working meeting, within the scope of the Policy Support Facility of the Covenant of Mayors, a European Commission project involving local authorities in a movement in favour of climate action and local energy.
The Policy Support Facility is part of Horizon Europe, a European Union (EU) research and innovation (R&I) framework program for the period 2021-2027. The objective is to strengthen the EU’s scientific and technological base, developing solutions to materialize political priorities, such as the ecological and digital transitions. The program also contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda. This European Union initiative aims to outline energy policies for the 2050 horizon, with a view to decarbonizing its territories, adapting to the impacts of climate change, and allowing access to safe and sustainable energy for all citizens.
Under this project, Matosinhos created two new ponds. Small urban wetlands perform important ecological and environmental functions, harbouring remarkable biodiversity. In this sense, the study and mapping of these places is the first step towards their preservation, but also towards their environmental appreciation within the community. The project also foresees the carrying out of environmental education actions aimed at citizens and Schools in the Municipality.
The Municipality of Matosinhos is also finalizing the “Corredor Verde do Leça”, an environmental and mobility project, with a strong cultural, economic, tourist and social nature, which will allow the landscape and environmental enhancement of the Leça river and its banks, and contribute for territorial cohesion, uniting the coast with the interior through a specific channel intended for the use of smooth modes of transport.
In addition to the requalification and revitalization of the banks of the Leça river and its surroundings, the project envisages the construction of a pedestrian and cycling route along its banks, creating an alternative mobility for daily travel, on foot and by bicycle, between residential areas and business areas located in their surroundings.
The municipality of Matosinhos believes that the “Corredor Verde do Leça” will be the first step towards the complete depollution of the river course and the landscape enhancement of the riverbanks, transforming them into a leisure area and returning them to the enjoyment of the population.
The work meeting was attended by the counselor for the Environment and Energy Transition, Manuela Álvares, technicians from Portuguese municipalities, energy agencies, intermunicipal communities and metropolitan areas.
Luca C. Arbau, member of the Covenant of Mayors – Europe, presented the objectives and challenges of the Policy Support Facility (PSF) program, while Jorge Rodrigues de Almeida, from RdA Climate Solutions, presented financing solutions for its implementation.
There was also room for a workshop on how to improve collaboration between Portuguese municipalities and the Covenant of Mayors.
Author and picture credits: Tiago Lopes, Municipality of Matosinhos / Francisco Teixeira, CMM