When life give you lemons: Why Lisbon embodies the LOCAL LOVE mindset


In the latest instalment of our LOCAL LOVE series - where we ask a member of TrendWatching's Insider Network (TW:IN) to delve into the trends and innovations they see every day in their city, we head to Lisbon, Portugal, with Catarina Moraes. Having recently moved to the city from Brazil, she takes us through the inspirations prevalent throughout the region. 

What is your favorite thing to do in your city?

Moving to Lisbon was a choice based on the ability (or talent!) that this city has to inspire who is open minded. 

One of my favourite things to do in Lisbon is to walk around and discover new places. Lisbon is such a small city but with lots of things to be done. I used to live in a big city (São Paulo – Brazil has more than 12 million habitants, which is more than the whole of Portugal), but as soon as I let go of the 'tourist' perspective, I’ve discovered a whole new Lisbon, with hidden alleys, cultural spots, public open spaces, cafes, exhibits and creative hubs. Lisbon is learning how to embrace diversity and everything else that is provided by the presence of Africans, Europeans, Asians and, of course, Brazilians.

Portugal has got a (G)LOCAL mindset since the discoveries and now the country, specially the City of Lisbon, are ready to welcome an inspiring new way of living.

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Are there any specific consumer trends you’re seeing in your local area right now?

It's easy to notice that Portuguese consumers are very proud of products Made in Portugal, an extremely tuned into the LOCAL LOVE mindset. It is the first time I’ve noticed young children worried about if the Olive Oil is made in Portugal or whether a brand is Portuguese or not. I've also noticed a post-crisis way of consumption. Even adolescents are worried about consuming good quality products (that last) once, than indulge with a great quantity of poor-quality-fast-fashion goods.

With the crises (2008 until 13), people - or, at least, people who still have jobs - realize that they should bring their own lunch to work. Now it has become a good/healthy/trendy habit and people can invest in healthier and better products with well designed packaging and new services such as “Marmita” (Lunch Box). It ties into something that really called my attention is: the habit of growing natural food at home, through small plantations, “hortas” and Urban Farming as part of an anti-crisis strategy

I was even surprised by an unknown neighbour who dropped a basket full of lemons and lima at my front door.

LOCAL LOVE - Catarina in Lisbon

What major changes are you most excited about over the next 5-10 years? And how do you think it will change the consumers in your city?

I’ve been a tourist in Lisbon almost every year for the past 8 years and now I finally noticed why the city was (and still is) completely under construction. Old and historical buildings are occupied by creative entrepreneurs and promising new business ideas. Full neighbourhoods and areas are being completely revitalized through urban regeneration, artistic intervention and luxury construction in almost completely abandoned places are now ready for innovation.

There is also a movement championed both by the Government and private companies that is supporting a smart-and-creative city approach, as well other initiatives related to co-creative open spaces and international meetings.

For Lisbon, a smart city point of view is a good way of providing sustainable growth to a city that received a record number of foreign tourists in 2015, with the number surpassing 10 million visitors for the first time and boosting hotel revenues to nearly 2.5 billion euros ($2.8 billion). It's the city with the highest growth of overnight stays in Europe, with the number of overnight stays increasing 15.3 % year on year, ensuring the city the highest growth in Europe at the time of writing.

It's clear that Lisbon is growing towards a creative, inspired and sustainable way of living.

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