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The city of Évora is the main urban center of the region, in population and functional terms. The social and economic dynamics of the city has managed to counter the tendency of the region as a whole, maintaining a growth similar to other medium-sized cities in Portugal.
In the past few decades, the increasing urbanization of the population emerges, as a global tendency, with the increase of transference of the population from the small agglomerates to the big metropolis and to the medium-sized cities.
As Portugal has an urbanization rate much lower than the rest of Europe it seems that the dynamics of growth of urban centers continue to provide values substantially higher than the surrounding regions.
This reality is also associated with a positive net migration. The demographic projections for 2016 are based on the migratory movement in support of population growth.
The valorization of the environmental component and the promotion of sustainable development have gained special importance in the region in recent years.
The appreciation of natural areas or of defined environmental valences, along with economic sustainability and a qualified social-cultural local network, have been constituted as assumptions made by society in general and by the organs of sovereignty in particular.
In the short term, the region will have a new infrastructure that will promote the logistics of the county and the city, reinforcing the role of Lead as a city of Évora Alentejo region. The High-Speed train Lisbon-Madrid is in the design phase and is scheduled a stop north of the city of Évora. With regard to freight rail, it is also planned a link between the Sines platform to Spain, also passing through Evora.
Because of its location, Évora has spaced itself as a hinge between the coast of Alentejo and Extremadura. In fact, the platform ensures the port of Sines as a shipping cargo between northern and southern Europe as well as a road access (IC33, IP2, and A6) across Europe through the port city of Elvas. It is assumed that this dynamic is enhanced in the future via the TGV rail corridor, which will also have a stop in Evora.
Given its size, centrality, and visibility in the national context, Evora emerges as the pole in a better position to lead the hierarchy of the regional urban system. Indeed, the city clearly has a cultural and academic vocation. In conjunction with the national urban system, medium-sized cities in the Alentejo region with particular relevance to Évora should contribute jointly to promote the harmonious development of a complementary regional network.