Basílio Horta


377,835 (2011)

Lead Innovation Officer

Gabriela Robalo

Innovation is helping to:
  • Improve internal government operations

  • Save costs and improve efficiency within the public sector

  • Improve resident outcomes

Critical success factors:
  • Dedicated funding

  • Dedicated innovation team

  • Leadership from Mayor

Spotlight on innovation in Sintra

Although small, the structure of innovation of the city is growing. Sintra’s openness has been demonstrated through its cooperation with the industrial, public and academic sectors to advance innovation. Furthermore, in line with Sintra’s systematic efforts to improve institutional quality, two councils were created; the strategic corporate council aims to serve as a space to discuss matters concerning economic and institutional development, while the strategic environmental council seeks to engage public and private entities in environmental questions.

Vision and approach to innovation capacity

Along with 44% of cities surveyed, Sintra has an explicit innovation strategy. Similar to 40% of cities surveyed, Sintra approaches innovation capacity both from a holistic/macro level, as well as in specific policy areas.

Policy areas that Sintra is focused on

Economic Development
Social welfare and social services
Policy areas by number of cities

Sintra utilizes 7 different innovation skills or roles

Project manager
Data scientist
Communication officer
Community engagement staff
Innovation roles by number of cities

Terms Sintra most associates with innovation

Data analytics

Sintra's most common innovation activities

Promoting data-driven analytics / public data management
e.g. data storage/analytics; open data; big data
Engaging residents in new ways
  1. 1

    Taking risks or testing new ideas

  2. 2

    Data-driven analytics/public data management

  3. 3

    Engaging residents in new ways

  4. 4

    Developing new solutions based on digital technologies

  5. 5

    Organizational change within the municipality

  6. 6

    Human-centered design

  7. 7

    Rethinking your city’s approach to financing partnerships

Its innovation activities also include human-centred design; facilitating organisational change within the municipal administration; and rethinking the city’s approach to financing and partnerships.

How is innovation funded here?

Like 77% of cities surveyed, Sintra has dedicated funding to support innovation capacity.

Top sources of funding

Multilateral institution budget
Higher levels of government
Municipal budget
Municipal budget
This could include, for instance, City Council approved funds; operating budget; a special funding process (bond, Mayoral special initiative funding, etc.); and participatory budgeting / citizen-selected budgeting.
External funding
External funding
This could include private, philanthropic/non-profit and/or academic/think tank resources.

Activities being funded

Launching or sustaining a project
Idea generation & brainstorming
55 cities
Launching or sustaining a project
53 cities
Idea generation & brainstorming
3 cities
Investing in digital systems
2 cities
Investing in physical infrastructure
2 cities
Paying for services

Sintra also invests in digital and physical infrastructure.

How is innovation measured?

Sintra has developed partnerships to promote its innovation capacity with other public agencies and private firms.

To improve data use, the city has also developed data partnerships with the private sector, academia and think tanks to collect and analyse data, as well as with other cities.

Data availability by policy area


Sufficient data


Economic Development

Housing and built environment

Policing and law enforcement



Waste and sewage

Labour market and skills

Environment and climate change



Social inclusion and equity


Digital governance

No Response

Public works