Our work in Portugal focuses on two distinct areas: (i) innovation of urban systems and the future of life in the city, and (ii) institutional development. We are studying Lisbon and Cascais with the goal of examining how innovation from within cities administration is making urban systems smarter and shaping people’s lives.

With our Smart(er) LisbonX initiative (LxX) the focus is on how cities adapt to and adopt new data and technology innovations to make their management systems more inclusive and responsive to decision making and citizens. Their successes and failures are valuable lessons, first, for other cities in Portugal and around the world focused on innovation. Second, a better understanding of how cities adapt to and adopt new data and technology innovations allows much better informed dialogues between city governments, data/tech companies and civil society about the future of our cities.

Our work on institutional innovation in Portugal has a research component on key aspects of the politico-institutional architecture of democracy in Portugal that informs a dialogues series – Espaço Diálogo – with Parliamentarians from all seven parties represented in the Portuguese parliament. The focus is on developing consensus around key reforms the country needs, such as the functioning of the parliament, parliamentarian status, parties funding, electoral law and regulations, among others.