The Mayor Has the Floor
A city that wants to be ahead of its time
Creativity and innovation. Those are the “tools” for the industries of tomorrow and the key to a successful business. They are requisite strategic factors to the competitive edge of businesses, cities and regions.
To that end, the City of S. João da Madeira wages in a policy of economic development, based on the qualification of the value chain of traditional activities as well as an increase in emerging sectors, diversifying the city’s business. We have elected creative industries as a focus of our strategy: we want to convert creativity into business. We want to maximise entrepreneurship and our businesses ability to perform, emphasising their export capabilities. To that end, the City looked at the former facilities of the historic Oliva factory as a challenge. A great opportunity for development was identified in this dilapidated building, which was something that had to be resolved in the city centre. So the idea of rehabilitating these facilities was born, enriching the area both at an urban and environmental level. The area was thus prepared to receive Oliva Creative Factory, an innovative project of international standards, focused on increasing the individual, social and business potential of entrepreneurs and their companies.
By introducing this project – and others like the Business and Technological Centre (Sanjotec) or Casa da Criatividade – S. João da Madeira accepts innovation as a state of mind, following the example of António José Pinto de Oliveira (who founded Oliva) and other S. João da Madeira natives who built enterprises capable of generating wealth and development.
When Oliva lost its founder’s vision and the ability to reinvent itself, it stopped being competitive and eventually disappeared. But the model of its golden years – the desire to be ahead of its time – is the legacy that Oliva Creative Factory lays claim for itself.
This is a main project to the consolidation of a vision for the city defined by our Strategic Development Plan. It aims for a competitive and diverse economy, which brings together the traditional sectors with new activities based on knowledge, innovation, technology and creativity. And it does so in an ever attractive and well-planned urban environment, with efficient public services and a mobilised social network. This is S. João da Madeira: a city to invest and live in. A creative city.
M. Castro Almeida
Mayor of the City of S. João da Madeira