Education and Development. Strategic planning as a factor of a territory’s societal transformation. The case of Lousã municipality (Portugal)

<p></p><p>Abstract During a time in which the role of municipalities concerning the territorial strategic planning is increasingly relevant, the main focus falls upon the work that is being developed in one of the Coimbra’s region municipalities. In this context, it is necessary to understand the importance of the educational factor in the strategy defined in Lousã’s Strategic Plan as well as its contribution to the development of a Local Educational Project, based on the principles of participatory democracy and active citizenship. Acknowledging that the resident’s low qualifications still appear as an obstacle to the citizens’ personal development and to the expansion of more intensive productive activities in terms of knowledge and creativity, it is perceived, within the scope of the Local Educational Project, the development of policies and projects which goals are: to promote educational success; to raise qualification levels; to intensify non-formal and informal education; to increase employability and to promote an active and qualified citizenship. This article intends to discuss the strategic planning process that is being developed in a small municipality (Lousã - Portugal), and how it can be a catalyst for transformations in several domains. In particular, the importance of the Education component was highlighted and how it is being worked out from a specific project - the Local Educational Project. Presenting an innovative approach, the results of this project should contribute to the mobilization of society with the objective of training citizens more aware and critical of their local and global reality.</p><p></p>