Évora is a medium-sized city (with around 50 000 inhabitants in 2021) in the interior south of Portugal, in the region of Alentejo, one and a half hour away from Lisbon. The human occupation of this place started in the neolithic period. Its historic centre has Roman, Visigoth and Muslim influences, preserving traces more than 2 000 years old. Évora reached its peak of influence in the 15th and 16th centuries, when it became the second seat of the Royal Court. Being the best example of a portuguese city in this period, it was classified as UNESCO World Heritage in 1986 raising tension between heritage preservation and innovation in urban places. As one of the largest walled cities in Portugal, it also raises many challenges in the way communities live inside and outside its physical (but also social and cultural) walls.
The University of Évora, founded in 1559, is the second oldest in Portugal. Nowadays it has 11 000 students from a diverse range of scientific and artistic areas. Nevertheless, the city and the Alentejo region have shown difficulty in fixing and attracting young people: around 70% of the young adults consider moving to other regions, mainly due to the lack of job and housing opportunities and cultural and social activities.