Lisbon’s engines of growth

Between 1980 and 2001, Lisbon lost a third of its residents, suffered ruptures of social and territorial cohesion and experienced severe economic and urban transformations. The situation was critical. Yet, thanks to the proactivity and pioneer work of the city leaders, Lisbon did not turn into a sleeping city as one could expect. On the contrary, with the development and implementation of an ambitious strategy aimed at positioning the city as one of the most competitive, innovative and creative cities in Europe, Lisbon is today an energetic city where new business ideas and ventures are blossoming every hour.

In the years 2000s, Lisbon’s economy switched from being based essentially on services to become more digital, open and diversified. Lisbon’s turning point in its digitalisation process occurred in 2011, with the Creation of a Directorate General for Economy and Innovation at Lisbon City Council. The Lisbon digital
strategy was created, which encompasses four main “Engines for Growth”:

  • Lisbon Start-up city: Lisbon has already created a friendly and a dynamic ecosystem (e.g. Start-up Lisboa; Fablab; Lisbon incubators);
  • Atlantic Business Hub: strategic initiatives to attract investments;
  • Integrated Knowledge and innovation environment;
  • Lisbon strategic Clusters: identification of the mail clusters at the global level (e.g. financial institutions, tourisms, commerce etc.).


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