Matosinhos - Candidacy for UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the Gastronomy Category
Matosinhos, a cosmopolitan city located in northern Portugal, has been renowned for its culinary richness and unique food culture. With the aim of strengthening its position as an excellent gastronomic destination, Matosinhos has decided to apply for the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the Gastronomy category.
The candidacy process of Matosinhos for this prestigious network involved a comprehensive consultation and engagement of various actors in the gastronomy value chain. Several information gathering methods were employed, including a survey sent to over 400 local restaurants, exploring topics such as consumption trends, environmental sustainability practices, and perceptions of the municipality's support measures and programs.
Furthermore, two focus groups were conducted, involving representatives from different entities in the gastronomy sector, including producers, retailers, chefs, schools and universities, researchers in the marine field, health and nutrition professionals, cultural institutions, design, architecture, and tourism. Fourteen individual interviews were also carried out to gain deeper insights into the sector's knowledge and needs.
In order to establish partnerships and promote international collaboration, Matosinhos reached out to other creative cities such as Rouen and Brasília, seeking to exchange knowledge and co-create joint projects. Visits were also made to cities like São Tomé in São Tomé and Príncipe, exploring partnership possibilities related to gastronomy and ocean sustainability.
Based on this consultation and engagement process, a comprehensive Action Plan has been developed, integrating relevant stakeholders from the gastronomy sector and other creative areas. This plan aims to promote the sustainable development of gastronomy, preserve cultural heritage, and strengthen cooperation with other creative cities worldwide.
Matosinhos' candidacy for the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the Gastronomy category is a testament to the city's commitment to valorize its gastronomic heritage, stimulate innovation, and foster collaboration with other renowned gastronomic destinations. By joining this network, Matosinhos will have the opportunity to promote its gastronomic culture globally, share experiences, and contribute to the continuous development of gastronomy as a vehicle for identity and economic growth.