Thessaloniki’s Resilience Journey

The city of Thessaloniki released its Resilience Strategy on March 30, 2017. Explore the strategy here.

Thessaloniki’s Resilience Story

Thessaloniki has a rich history as a major hub of business and culture, from the Roman period to the Byzantine Empire. Today it is still an important metropolitan region for Greece, with an active port, a respected university, and a robust tourist industry. The city, however, has also been affected by the economic and political crises that have rocked Greece in recent years. Growing unemployment from a shrinking manufacturing sector and a lack of opportunities for young people have increased social needs, while resources to provide services have decreased.

Tensions have led to the rise of extremism, riots, and civil unrest, and broken down relations between residents and public authorities. With new projects to upgrade infrastructure, officials see an opportunity to build trust and engagement with community members by involving them in planning processes. They are also using this approach to build response plans to earthquakes and other natural disasters, as well as engage new youth networks in resilience planning.

SHOCKS AND STRESSES
  • Aging Infrastructure
  • Displaced Populations / Migrants
  • Earthquake
  • Energy Insecurity
  • Ethnic Inequality
  • Extreme Heat
  • Fire
  • Hazardous Materials Accident
  • Inadequate Health Systems
  • Inadequate Public Transportation Systems
  • Infrastructure Failure
  • Poverty
  • Power Outage
  • Rainfall Flooding
  • Riot / Civil Unrest
  • Shifting Macroeconomic Trends
  • Terrorist Attack
  • Unemployment
  • Water Insecurity

Meet The Chief Resilience Officer

George Dimarelos is Chief Resilience Officer and Deputy Mayor for Urban Resilience & Development Programmes for the City of Thessaloniki, Greece.

George Dimarelos is a civil and transport engineer with 20 years experience in the private sector and in local governance. From 2001 to 2010, he worked as a transport consultant and project manager in a range of projects in the private sector. Since 2010, he has served as an elected member of the Thessaloniki city council. He was appointed by the Mayor as an executive transport consultant and member of the Board of Directors of the Thessaloniki Port Authority. The Peripheral Union of Local Authorities appointed him as board member of the Thessaloniki Urban Transport Authority.

In March 2017, he was appointed by the Mayor to serve as Deputy Mayor for Education and Sports. After taking an active role on transport issues in the process of developing the city’s first resilience strategy, as part of the city’s participation in the global 100 Resilient Cities Network, he now serves as Deputy Mayor for Urban Resilience and Development Programs, by the Mayors appointment.

George graduated from the University of Birmingham (BEng in Civil Engineering) and earned his MSc in Transport Engineering and Operations from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. In 2005 he received a Masters in Business Administration from the American College of Thessaloniki.

Snapshot of Thessaloniki

  • 322,240

    POPULATION AS OF 2011

Around the World

Explore cities facing similar resilience challenges to Thessaloniki.

  • Aging Infrastructure
  • Displaced Populations / Migrants
  • Earthquake
  • Energy Insecurity
  • Ethnic Inequality
  • Extreme Heat
  • Fire
  • Hazardous Materials Accident
  • Inadequate Health Systems
  • Inadequate Public Transportation Systems
  • Infrastructure Failure
  • Poverty
  • Power Outage
  • Rainfall Flooding
  • Riot / Civil Unrest
  • Shifting Macroeconomic Trends
  • Terrorist Attack
  • Unemployment
  • Water Insecurity

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