SPARDA: Coimbra, Portugal


Coimbra is one of the most important urban centres in Portugal. Although it served as a capital during the middle ages, it is better-known nowadays for its university which is one of the oldest in Europe and the oldest academic institution in the Portuguese-speaking world. According to the 2001 Census, the city has a population of 101,069 and the municipality a population of 148,443.


There is a long history of immigration from former Indian, African and Asian overseas territories. The most significant waves of migration started in the late 1960s. Since the 1990s, alongside the boom in the construction industry, several new waves of Brazilian and Ukrainian migrants have settled. These constitute the two largest migrant groups in Coimbra, the third being Cape Verdeans. Initially, most worked either in services or construction. Some have moved to more skilled jobs thanks to bilateral qualification recognition programmes.



Target audience: Coimbra population, university students

Media: Events, print press, webTV

Dates: November-December 2011


Coimbra houses one of the oldest and most important universities in Europe. Besides the economic communities, the city also hosts a large number of foreign students, mainly from Portuguese speaking countries. With the university as an important partner in the campaign, Coimbra focused on the cultural aspects of integration and the different communities present in the city, under the slogan "Coimbra – InterCultural City".


Coimbra’s campaign was run entirely by the municipality, with no outsourced communication agency involved. It included a photography contest, a documentary produced by the university’s TV channel, and "Diversity Day" closing event. The photography contest was announced in a number of local media. The documentary was aired on the municipality’s TV channel, the University TV channel and during a few local events.


Although the two main activities (documentary and photography contest) were targeted at a rather specific audience, the media carried a number of stories on them, which ensured a wider impact of the city’s involvement in promoting diversity. The documentary, a high quality production, will carry on being aired at different opportunities. Both the mayor and vice-mayor were present during the closing event, which also attracted the media’s interest.


Coimbra campaign files

Programme for the Diversity Day event

Announcement for the photography contest in local press

Announcement for the photography contest on the Municipality’s website

Diversity Day event with the Mayor of Coimbra, João Mello

Gentes de Coimbra, the documentary produced by the University of Coimbra



Other documents

Results of Coimbra Public Perception Survey

Contextual analysis



General information

Official website


João Paulo Barbosa de Melo



Coimbra on the map