Often referred to as the "birthplace of the Portuguese nationality", it is widely believed Portugal’s first king Afonso Henriques was born in Guimarães, and from there set out to conquer the territory that is now Portugal. Its historic town centre is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Today, Guimarães is one of the most enterprising, innovative and industrial cities in Portugal. In the post-austerity period after the the financial crisis, the companies in the city were creating more jobs and revenue than the national average. The city is also a clear example of digital transformation success having won awards like ACEPI Navegantes XXI - Best Digital City Award, the Most Sustainable City in Portugal award in 2017, and the Perfect City Award in Connectivity and Innovation promoted by Siemens and Vision Magazine, among others.

Guimarães is developing an integrated strategy as a smart sustainable city. The basis for this strategy relies on the use of information and communication technologies and other means to improve quality of life, efficiency of urban operation and services, and competitiveness.

Guimarães digital transformation strategy

In Guimarães, the Digital Cities Challenge was launched in April with a first study on the city by the expert team. In parallel, the city completed the Digital Cities Self-Assessment Tool, leading to the collection of 22 contributions on behalf of the local community of stakeholders. Based on this information, the city team (i.e. city representatives supported by a team of external experts) developed the current digital transformation strategy.

The process was carried out interactively, as the team organised at least five local stakeholder workshops aimed at validating findings and collectively building the strategy and identifying key priorities. In addition to this, city representatives participated in four Digital City Challenge academy seminars which brought together representatives from all other participating cities, in light of sharing experiences and exchanging thoughts on the results of the Challenge.