New borough ranking shows ‘sustainability’ depends on size

Small is not beautiful when it comes to sustainable borough councils.

This is the message coming out of the first ‘municipal rankings’ which put Lisbon, Porto and Oeiras at the top of the scale, and much smaller towns like Celorico da Beira, Góis and Alijó at the bottom.

The new rankings are designed to work “like a radar of information” highlighting the kind of medium-term policies needed, say reports.

With only basic information coming out today (the best ten and worst ten municipalities in the country) we’re told that the 30 most sustainable municipalities include only one in the Azores (São Miguel) and two in the region of the Algarve.

Without the full list being made available, we cannot at moment of writing, confirm which two municipalities of the Algarve are in the Top 30.

Observador however has confirmed that Albufeira ranks among the “worst medium-sized boroughs” in terms of behaviour on all the relevant indicators, along with Salvaterra de Magos in the Alentejo and Santa Cruz, in Madeira.

The study, presenting today (Tuesday) with support of the Ordem dos Economistas (economists association), studied all 308 Portuguese municipalities, focusing on 25 areas that involve ‘governance’, services to citizens, economic and social development and financial sustainability.

Of the 308, 185 are considered ‘small’ (with less than 20,000 inhabitants), 99 are ranked ‘medium sized’ (between 20,000 to 100,000 inhabitants) and just 24 are considered ‘large’.

Criteria was established in collaboration with various entities, including the Accounts Court, the general directorate of local councils, the tax office and national association of Portuguese municipalities.

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