Castelo de Vide is an inland Portuguese city of 3,400 people that has suffered the fate of many small, rural communities. As young people left in search of opportunity, its population gradually shrank and its economic base eroded. Tourism based on its 500-year history became Castelo de Vide’s most important industry. To leverage it for a sustainable future, the city decided to re-connect its economy to the world. It developed a wireless broadband network to serve businesses, citizens and tourists and put its municipal IT “into the cloud” to reduce costs and expand capabilities.
This new infrastructure has made the community more attractive to residents from nearby cities who seek a higher quality of life. It also helped Castelo de Vide attract numerous film and television productions with a unique combination: unspoiled natural beauty to serve as a backdrop for the story, and high-speed broadband to keep production crews connected. Though the city remains distant from the coastal tourist zone to the west, ICT creates new competitive advantages that serve to close some of the gap.
* Castelo de Vide thumbnail image by Miguel Vieira