Commendations for mayors of:
Braga | Bristol | Dover | Graz | Greifswald | Kyiv | Malmö | Oliveri | Quelimane | Tremblay-en-France | Utrecht |

World Mayor essays
Essays by: Mayor of Dover | Mayor of Graz | Bürgermeisterin von Graz | Mayor of Greifswald |Oberbürgermeister von Greifswald | Mayor of Oliveri | Sindaco di Oliveri | Mayor of Quelimane | Mayor of Utrecht | Burgemeester van Utrecht |

ON OTHER PAGES: The 2023 Winners | The 2023 Finalists | About World Mayor 2023 | The 2023 Shortlist | The 2023 Longlist | World Mayor History | World Mayor Sculpture | Code of Ethics | Universal qualities of mayors | Press & Media |

World Mayor
Ricardo Rio, Mayor of
Braga, Portugal

The 2023 World Mayor Prize and Awards will be conferred on mayors who have demonstrated that by listening to and working closely with the citizens of their own communities as well as by forming partnerships and friendships with towns and cities at home and across borders, cities can succeed where nations struggle. Mayors shortlisted for the World Mayor Prize have been commended for their humanity, local leadership and their ability to bring people together.

Ricardo Rio, Mayor of Braga, Portugal, was shortlisted for the 2023 World Mayor Prize and Awards

Commendations for
Ricardo Rio
Mayor of Braga, Portugal

Page 1 | Page 2

Commended by Rui C., Braga
Throughout his tenure as Mayor of Braga, Ricardo Rio has distinguished himself for his visionary leadership and commitment to economic development, entrepreneurship, innovation and sustainability. Under his management, the city of Braga achieved remarkable successes in both areas, propelling it towards a more prosperous and sustainable future.

One of the main successes of President Ricardo Rio has been the promotion of economic development and the promotion of entrepreneurship and innovation in Braga. From the beginning of his term, he recognized the importance of creating an enabling environment for business, attracting investment and generating jobs for the local community.

One of the key strategies implemented by President Ricardo Rio was the strengthening of the partnership between the public administration and the private sector. He has been working closely with local companies and research institutions, encouraging innovation and creating new business opportunities.

Braga has become an important hub for entrepreneurship and innovation, with the emergence of startups and innovative projects in various areas, such as technology, health and sustainability. President Ricardo Rio supported these initiatives through the creation of co-working spaces, tax incentives and training programs for entrepreneurs.

Still in the context of economic development, President Ricardo Rio has been a defender of the diversification of Braga's economic sector. It has sought to attract companies from different sectors and support the expansion of traditional and emerging industries.

As a result of his actions, Braga saw significant growth in its economy, with the creation of jobs and an increase in the population's income. The city has attracted more and more investments, consolidating its position as an attractive destination for businesses and investors.

Another essential pillar of President Ricardo Rio's management has been the sustainable development of Braga. He has been a leader committed to preserving the environment and promoting responsible practices in all spheres of the city.

President Ricardo Rio has been working to make Braga a greener and more sustainable city, adopting policies and projects aimed at reducing the ecological footprint and protecting natural resources.

One of his main management focuses has been encouraging the use of renewable energies. Braga has implemented solar energy projects in public buildings and urban spaces, as well as promoting the use of electric vehicles, contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the fight against climate change.

Furthermore, President Ricardo Rio has been a strong advocate of sustainable mobility in Braga. He has been working to improve cycling infrastructure, promoting the use of bicycles as a means of transport and reducing reliance on motor vehicles.

The administration of President Ricardo Rio has also been marked by policies aimed at the preservation and protection of green areas and natural spaces in Braga. He has been committed to creating urban parks and leisure areas, providing the population with closer contact with nature and encouraging environmental awareness.

President Ricardo Rio's sustainable vision goes beyond the city's borders, reflected in his participation in forums and networks of cities committed to sustainability. Braga has been recognized as a pioneering city in sustainable actions, gaining international prominence for its innovative practices.

In summary, President Ricardo Rio's tenure in Braga has been marked by his commitment to economic development, entrepreneurship and innovation, combined with a strong concern for sustainability and environmental protection. His tireless work has put Braga on the map as a modern, prosperous and sustainable city, serving as an example for other locations in search of a more promising and responsible future. As a specialist in Sustainability and Sustainable Development, it is with immense pleasure that I present my praise to the esteemed Mayor of Braga, Ricardo Rio, as a worthy and deserving candidate for the prestigious World Mayor Award.

Throughout his tenure, President Ricardo Rio has demonstrated a visionary vision and an unwavering commitment to driving Braga's sustainable development, raising the city to an exemplary standard of governance and excellence. His inspiring and determined leadership has been a beacon for the community, making Braga a national and international reference in urban sustainability.

One of President Ricardo Rio's greatest achievements has been placing Braga at the forefront of sustainable tourism. Under his guidance, Braga has embraced a holistic approach, where tourism policies not only respect the city's cultural and historical richness, but also have a strong focus on preserving the natural environment and reducing the sector's carbon footprint. Its strategic vision has ensured that tourism in Braga is genuinely responsible, valuing cultural heritage, promoting authentic experiences and ensuring the involvement and well-being of local communities.

President Ricardo Rio has been a driving force in Braga's transition to a smart and sustainable city. Under his leadership, Braga adopted innovative technologies and smart solutions to improve the efficiency of urban services and the quality of life of its citizens. The implementation of intelligent transport systems, the digitization of public services and intelligent waste management are clear examples of its commitment to making Braga a more efficient and connected city.

Another brilliant facet of President Ricardo Rio's work is his dedication to making sustainability accessible to everyone. He has been a tireless advocate for social inclusion and promoting policies that ensure every citizen of Braga can enjoy the benefits of sustainable development. Your attention to issues of accessibility, equality and opportunity for all segments of the population demonstrates your compassion and humanity.

In addition, President Ricardo Rio has been an exemplary model of ethical and transparent leadership. Its management focused on integrity and accountability has inspired confidence in public administration and the local community. He has shown himself capable of leading with understanding and compassion, listening to citizens' needs and aspirations and making decisions that reflect Braga's best interests.

Throughout his tenure, President Ricardo Rio has proven to be a visionary, a strategist and a leader committed to leading Braga towards a sustainable and prosperous future. Its commitment to innovation, inclusion and environmental responsibility places it as a reference in the global public sphere.

Therefore, it is with great enthusiasm that I endorse President Ricardo Rio's candidacy for the World Mayor Award. His inspiring and dedicated work as Braga's leader is truly worthy of recognition and celebration, as he continues to shape and elevate the city to a prominent place on the international scene of urban sustainability.

I believe that his vision and tireless actions deserve the highest recognition, and I am confident that the World Mayor Award would be a fitting tribute to an inspiring leader who is making a difference to his city and, more broadly, to the sustainable future of our planet.

Commended by Rafael A., Braga
Ricardo Rio, mayor of Braga, is definitely one of the best of its generation.
The way in which he resiliently stood for elections in 2005 and 2009 and won them in 2013, 2017 and, now, in 2021, always with excellent results, demonstrates his ability as a politician and, above all, his love for the city of Braga. He was first elected to public office in 2005 as a City Councilman and City Assemblyman of Braga Municipality. He was also President of the Social Democratic Party of Braga and a member of the Social Democratic Party’s National Political Committee.

He is a leader in Portugal's politics and currently the President of Galicia-North of Portugal Euroregion, President of the Intermunicipality Community of Cavado, member of the Committee of the Regions of European Union and CEO of Global Parliament of Mayors and member of the Executive Committee of EUROCITIES.

This translates a  public management of the polis in a very responsible, assertive and disruptive way and also why Braga is placed on the international map, in the European Union and at national level.

The most recent indicators, whether in terms of sustainable objectives or in terms of education and/or the environment, demonstrate that the public policies designed and implemented in his mandate are having an effect. This is why I think Ricardo Rio should be World Mayor 2023.

Commended by Daniel S., Braga
As a resident of Braga, I wholeheartedly support and endorse Ricardo Rio as an excellent mayor! He has done an outstanding job in promoting the growth of our city in every way. From creating more jobs to addressing social issues, Ricardo Rio has played a vital role in making positive changes for Braga's community.

Under his leadership and dedication, there's no doubt that he has made a significant impact on the lives of Braga's residents, contributing to the city's progress and prosperity.

Thank you, Ricardo Rio! With great admiration and respect.

Commended by Gerri B., outside Portugal
I was delighted to see Mayor Ricardo Rio included in the shortlist for World Mayor 2023. Thank you for the opportunity to provide additional comments.  I wholeheartedly support Mayor Ricardo Rio as World Mayor 2023.

As you describe the mayors of the shortlist for World Mayor 2023, all share and connect among cities. They are mayors who agree that the role of a mayor reaches beyond the boundaries of their city to connect globally, to partner, to share, to learn with other cities. In the past, the role of a mayor was defined by their city limits; in the future, it is also defined by their reach beyond city limits. The future mayor will truly blend these two aspects of their leadership seamlessly. I believe the world needs a new local-global model for mayors. We need an exemplar, a mayor who sets a new leadership standard for this increasing important expansive model of the role of a mayor. We need to recognize and celebrate a mayor who can show us the how and the value of being both local and global as an integrated approach. The inspiration for my suggestion is, of course, Mayor Ricardo Rio.

Mayor Rio successfully balances the role of city management with global engagement as a consistent, leadership practice. He models the blending of these two aspects seamlessly and the City of Braga and the world both benefit from his approach. The third largest city in Portugal with a population under 200,000, Braga is truly a reference point on the global stage, thanks to the integrated local-global active, results-oriented leadership of Mayor Rio.

Some of the recent accomplishments that demonstrate the success of Mayor Rio’s local-global leadership approach include (1) Braga has the strong population growth and at the same time, a youthful demographic; (2) Braga has been recognized by FDI Intelligence among the top ten European cities, in its category, to attract foreign direct investment; (3) the Braga innovation scene has exploded and expanded to include a new sports tech incubator with SC Braga and Microsoft Ventures; (4) Braga has recently been selected as part of the EU Intelligent Cities Challenge; (6) the 2022 Braga White Knights concert attracted over one million concertgoers. Truly great cities have an energy, a vitality, a rhythm. In a 2000-year-old city, Mayor Rio has created the energy of tomorrow and it is attracting companies, residents, remote workers, visitors, artists, investors, innovators. His leadership is an example to all cities.

Commended by Carla G., Braga
I am voting for the mayor who works further to improve the quality of life for all Braga’s citizens.

Commended by Arturo V. M., Braga
On behalf of our pioneer global initiative, I can confirm that thanks to the leadership of Mayor Ricardo Rio, the global cooperation and friendship is happening between the city of Braga and many other cities all over the world. A real fact and example of this, it is StartupCity Braga as new economic engine based on entrepreneurs of any age (mainly young ones). Last year, November 2022, thanks to the vision and teamwork of Mayor Ricardo Rio, the city of Braga hosted the Unique Summit opened by the President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa with above 800 people divided in more than: 40 ecosystems from all continents, 200 start-ups, 3 dozen investors, and 125 corporations.

Commended by Pedro S., Braga
Ricardo is a true champion of leadership and innovation. He is an inspiration for all the “Bracarences”, as well as for all Portuguese and European citizens. Personally, as I have accompanied his career as Braga’s Mayor, I have always felt that the city in which I was born and raised was in safe hands.

Hands of a man who truly has a vision and is willing to accomplish his goals to provide a better life for his citizens, treating each one of these with equal respect, dignity, and care. His approach to a crisis in housing saved Braga from tripping onto the same mistakes that Porto and Lisbon made, preventing a steep increase in housing prices, increasing stability and quality of life of the people. Furthermore, I must highlight the prestigious career that Ricardo Rio has built for himself, with his roots established in the third largest city in an even smaller country, usually overshadowed by its much larger, more developed neighbours.

Braga, under the leadership of Ricardo managed to topple not only Porto, but also the grand (and much more subsidized) city of Lisbon, climbing to the top of the most developed cities in Europe. As a proud Portuguese citizen, I applaud the efforts and work of Ricardo. I further thank him for pushing an otherwise neglected city into international attention, which largely contributed to its fast and efficient growth into a city of the people, into a city of the future.

Thank you for the opportunity to congratulate a truly great man. Although I am sure that due to population differences he will not be in the most voted, I call on you to recognize this wonderful person, and how his achievements inside his small Portuguese city managed to inspire and progress into cities all over the world.

Commended by Bárbara S., Braga
Ricardo Rio doesn’t just work as a mayor, but he is also a delegate in UN, This lets him think out of the box and have unexpected ideas to help one of the greatest cities of the world such as Braga. Instead of leaving for better jobs outside use the country, he prefers to serve Braga as he promised.

From a modest home to this place in this competition, to UN, the work and effort he puts on his job is just amazing and wonderful to see every single day.

Commended by Luis M., Braga
I would like to express my gratitude for having in Portugal a mayor like Ricardo!!

Deeply engaged with all the range of several critical points to develop a region, Ricardo represents the fresh air in all the political environment. He is, clearly, someone who cares first the people and bases his government in the real needs of the Population. Additionally, he already showed strong skills to attract investors and science to the city.

For this and much more I could say, I am convicted that he deserves the mayor prize.

Commended by Jorge C., Braga
I support and vote for Mayor Ricardo Rio, a leading politician with a remarkable action for the City of Braga with a profound link in his action to culture, heritage and innovation. His deep commitment with the Agenda 2030 of the UN, is also a key point of his action.

For your information:
The World Mayor Project, organised by the philanthropic City Mayors Foundation since 2004, has no connection with any city or organisation and is run on strictly non-commercial lines. Sponsorships, advertising, subscriptions, donations or any other kind of revenue are NOT sought and will be rejected, if offered.

All personal information you provide us with will be treated in strict confidence. Your email addresses will NOT be passed on to any third parties. Also, we do NOT collect data by cookies or other hidden means.

Please contact us if you have any further questions. Please insert 'World Mayor 2023' in the subject line of any email.

© Copyright: All content of the City Mayors and World Mayor websites is protected by worldwide copyright. Please contact us if you wish to use any material from the City Mayors, World Mayor or Women Mayors websites.

The City Mayors Foundation
London SW1
Tel: +44 20 8439 7978
The World Mayor Project was conceived in 2004 by the City Mayors Foundation to raise the profile of mayors worldwide and honour those who have contributed exceptionally to local and urban affairs. Mayors must carry out their duties selflessly and beyond reproach. The Project has no association with any city or organisation and is run on philanthropic lines. Any kind of revenue is NOT sought and will be rejected if offered. DETAILS

Winners of the World Mayor Prize since 2004: Edi Rama, Tirana (2004); Dora Bakoyannis, Athens (2005); John So, Melbourne (2006); Helen Zille, Cape Town (2008); Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico City (2010); Iñaki Azkuna, Bilbao (2012); Naheed Nenshi, Calgary (2014); Bart Somers, Mechelen (2016); Valeria Mancinelli, Ancona (2018); Ahmed Aboutaleb, Rotterdam (2021); Philippe Rio, Grigny (2021); Elke Kahr, Graz (2023) DETAILS