InPACT 2018 will take place in Porto, the second-largest metropolis of PORTUGAL and one of Europe’s most charismatic cities.
From across the Rio Douro at sunset, romantic Porto looks like a pop-up town. A colourful tumbledown dream with medieval relics, soaring bell towers, extravagant baroque churches and stately beaux-arts buildings piled on top of one another, illuminated by streaming shafts of sun. If you squint you might be able to make out the open windows, the narrow lanes and staircases zigzagging to nowhere.
Porto’s historic centre is the Ribeira district, an Unesco World Heritage Site where “tripeiros” (Porto residents) mingle before old storefronts, on village-style plazas and in the old houses of commerce where Roman ruins lurk beneath the foundations. On the downside, here and in other parts of the city centre stand many dilapidated early-20th-century town houses, left to crumble as the young and moneyed flee to the sprawling suburbs by the sea. Yet despite signs of decay, in the last two decades Porto has undergone a remarkable renaissance – expressed in the hum of its efficient metro system and the gleam of Álvaro Siza Vieira’s Museu de Arte Contemporânea and Rem Koolhaas’ Casa da Música.
Culturally, Porto is more relevant than much larger global cities. The birthplace of port, it’s a long-running mecca for wine aficionados. Riverside wine caves jockey for attention in nearby Vila Nova de Gaia, with scores of cellars open for tastings. With tasty new kitchens springing up regularly, its palate is slowly growing more cosmopolitan. And thanks to a number of superb venues, Porto residents dance to many of the world’s top rock, jazz and electronic artists.
It is a highly atmospheric place that has become known for its monuments by renowned architects (Gustave Eiffel’s Dona Maria Bridge, Nicolau Nasoni’s Clerigos Tower or Siza Vieira’s Serralves Museum).
Porto is a fascinating and vibrant city that is rapidly becoming one of Western Europe’s most respected tourist destinations, and that’s one of the reasons that this is the city chosen to host InPACT 2018!