Athens Launches Citywide Resilience Strategy Developed in Partnership with 100 Resilient Cities

Enquiries and interview requests to:
Andrew Brenner – ABrenner@100resilientcities.org
Maria Fola – mariafola@yahoo.co.uk

ATHENS, GREECE – Mayor Giorgos Kaminis and the City of Athens today launched “Redefining the City: Launching a Resilience Strategy for Athens 2030”, an ambitious citywide strategy that looks to effectively and proactively address the challenges and needs of the city and its inhabitants through a holistic approach that focuses on optimizing available resources.  The strategy is the result of a two-year partnership with 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC), which has committed resources and expertise, and provided the city with access to a global network of solutions and partners.

To develop the strategy, the City of Athens worked with hundreds of stakeholders and citizens, creating a full plan of actions that delivers both local and metropolitan scale solutions. Athens was selected to join the 100RC network in 2014, out of more than 1,000 applications from around the world. As part of the 100RC partnership, Athens named Eleni Myrivili as the city’s Chief Resilience Officer, to lead the development of the city’s Resilience Strategy.

Giorgos Kaminis, Mayor of Athens, said: “During the past few years, our city has been confronted with unprecedented events. We have struggled to meet increasing social needs, to deliver a more effective administration, to streamline the municipal budget and to find alternative funding resources. The City’s participation in large and effective international networks such as “100 Resilient Cities” creates tangible results for Athens and its inhabitants. The strategy we are presenting is comprehensive, bringing together initiatives we have taken so far with new solutions”.

Like the 99 other cities from around the world which form the 100RC network, the City of Athens has mapped key issues and challenges that the city is already faced with or will face in the years to come. The Municipality engaged in discussions with 840 citizens and 140 organizations, ranging from the local administration and government, business representatives, academic institutions and civil society actors to explore new and reinforced avenues to address these challenges while building transparent and solid relationships with its partners. The Municipality has also reviewed the city’s resources – physical, intellectual and natural (blue and green infrastructure).

As Eleni Myrivili, Chief Resilience Officer for Athens, explains, “Modern cities are increasingly faced with risks stemming from climate change, urbanization and globalization. Having identified its challenges, Athens is now in the process of developing new tools, capabilities and partnerships to successfully address these. The City’s Resilience Strategy responds to those challenges and demonstrates our commitment to building an action plan of international standards, one that offers perspective and effectiveness in its implementation.”

The Resilience Strategy includes a series of programs that are already underway, proposals that have already been evaluated as well as new, innovative actions. It proposes strategic approaches and actions that translate into a holistic vision for the city to its inhabitants. It is also a roadmap that can produce measurable results and evaluation indicators.

“Today’s announcement is an important step for Athens, for Greece, and for Europe. With the release of Athens’s Resilience Strategy, the city is making a commitment to think proactively about the challenges that lay ahead,” said Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities. “This strategy will be a model for other cities in the region and beyond, and 100 Resilient Cities looks forward to partnering with Mayor Kaminis and the City of Athens to implement the vision laid out in this document.”

Four main goals form the basis of the strategy:

  • An accessible city that will be transparent and open to its citizens, more effective in its actions and projects, and more active and established in its partnerships.
  • A green city that will embrace nature in its urban environment, thus aiming to become cleaner and more sustainable.
  • A proactive city that is prepared and able to address the critical challenges ahead.
  • A city which plans for the future by empowering and integrating its citizens.

These goals are broken down into 65 actions and 53 sub-actions, each with multiple benefits for the resilience of the city and population. Actions include policies, projects, and initiatives (existing and new), from clean power for mobility to smart waste management and efforts to boost culture and education.

The strategy aligns with and complements other strategic initiatives in the local, regional, national and international domain, including the city’s Integrated Urban Intervention Plan and the Sustainable Urban Development Strategy (SBAA). The strategy is also complemented by texts produced in collaboration with the 100RC Network, the C40 Cities Climate Change Network, and the Bertelsmann Foundation. These include the Integrated Climate Action Plan, the report: “Global Immigration and Resilient Cities in the Spotlight” and the Transatlantic Policy Laboratory’s proposals on social justice in deprived areas of the city.

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About 100 Resilient Cities—Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation 

100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) helps cities around the world become more resilient to social, economic, and physical challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. 100RC provides this assistance through: funding for a Chief Resilience Officer in each of our cities who will lead the resilience efforts; resources for drafting a resilience strategy; access to private sector, public sector, academic, and NGO resilience tools; and membership in a global network of peer cities to share best practices and challenges. For more information, visit: www.100ResilientCities.org.