100 Resilient Cities

Thessaloniki

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Thessaloniki is a city in transformation. We are a port city with a long history, and a population that deeply values our history and culture.

The city has experienced significant shocks and stresses during the recent past, but despite population shifts, a devastating fire and a major earthquake, we have responded with resilience. Today, Thessaloniki is a lively, multicultural city that attracts young people, tourists, and international business. We are also still focused on recovering from the global economic depression as well as ongoing environmental changes.

The Resilience Strategy reflects our ambitions as a city. We want to be inclusive; locally oriented but with international partnerships and exchanges; and forward looking to address interrelated challenges, goals, targets and actions.

We envision a city that guarantees the well-being of its people, and nurtures its human talent, while strengthening its urban economy and respecting its natural resources. We will work towards this vision by strengthening Thessaloniki’s urban resilience in relation to population shifts, urban economy, open spaces and local governance.

The Resilience Strategy is based on eight city values (Social Cohesion, Local Identity & Heritage, Environmental Management, Health & Wellbeing, Youth Empowerment, Multi-stakeholder Engagement, Technology Adaptation, Economic Prosperity), which represent our city’s identity and guide how we will plan for the future. The values cut across four main goals that together form the basis of the strategy.

01 Shape a Thriving and Sustainable City Design and deliver urban and mobility systems that serve people with efficiency, environmental integrity, and strategic use of resources.

02 Co-create an Inclusive City Invest in people, align education & training, expand role of boroughs, empower citizens, welcome new residents, co-create public space.

03 Build a Dynamic Urban Economy and Responsive City Develop an urban economy policy agenda which recognizes and supports existing and prospective local economic cluster activities and zones.

04 Re-discover the City's Relationship with the Sea Enhance city life, restore the ecosystem, monitor environmental resilience, and improve governance.

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01

Design and deliver urban and mobility systems that serve people with efficiency, environmental integrity, and strategic use of resources.

A thriving and sustainable city must have mobility and city systems that serve its people. We will actively seek to improve intermodal transportation, reduce air pollution and tailpipe emissions, reduce congestion and delays, enhance recycling rate, and reduce the carbon footprint.

More specifically, the actions that the city will take will include:

  • Building an integrated resilient mobility system
  • Adopting Transit Oriented Development (TOD)
  • Developing smart urban logistics
  • Moving to clean power for transport
  • Reducing air pollution and urban noise
  • Reframe waste management
  • Strengthening environmental public awareness for a stronger environmental policy
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We have seen great improvements in air quality over the last few years thanks to the implementation of European Directives and strict national legislation on fuel quality and environmental protection requirements for industry and the transport sector. The financial crisis also resulted in declining industrial activity and reduced transportation needs.

Despite all this, air pollution continues to be a major concern for citizens and local stakeholders, and levels of particulate matter (PM10) and other pollutants ozone (O3) remain above the recommended thresholds, especially in the summer months.

 

02

Invest in people, align education & training, expand role of boroughs, empower citizens, welcome new residents, co-create public space.

A resilient Thessaloniki is an inclusive city that invests in human talent. Our city will actively seek to increase the number of citizen initiatives, increase the percentage of accessible, well-maintained open spaces, increase the impact of child and youth participation, create more jobs, increase diversity and participation of young women, and increase the percentage of inclusive open spaces, for children and the elderly.

Accordingly our objectives include:

  • Re-structuring the role of Boroughs
  • Establishing Boroughs as social labs
  • Creating a welcoming Thessaloniki
  • Fostering youth participation
  • Capitalizing on Thessaloniki’s youth capital, investing in entrepreneurship and strengthening economic activity
  • Investing in intergenerational linkages in local communities
  • Co-creating inclusive open spaces
  • Developing nature-based solutions for green neighborhoods
  • Being a child-friendly city

03

Develop an urban economy policy agenda which recognizes and supports existing and prospective local economic cluster activities and zones.

Through effective and network governance, Thessaloniki will build a dynamic urban economy and a responsive city. We will actively seek to increase the diversity of the economy, enable access to business related data, increase cross-sector and international partnerships, facilitate small business access to affordable credit, and increase the number of municipal staff, engaged in emergency plans.

More specifically, our actions will include:

  • An urban economic policy agenda
  • Local cluster economic activities
  • New cross-sector partnerships
  • Metropolitan collaboration
  • Performance-based management
  • Financial resilience
  • Municipal capital investment plan
  • Local risk reduction and risk management systems
  • Informed citizens and decision makers

04

Enhance city life, restore the ecosystem, monitor environmental resilience, and improve governance.

Thermaikos Bay forms an integral part of Thessaloniki’s identity. It also one of the main reasons for Thessaloniki’s commercial, cultural and educational success over thousands of years. We will actively seek to increase the annual amount of “blue investments” in the city, increase the monitoring of physical parameters of the Bay, reduce water pollution, reduce the volume of sewage overflow, decrease administrative complexity, and increase civic participation around the sea.

Accordingly, our actions will include:

  • Integrating economic and urban development of the Bay
  • Environmental resilience monitoring
  • Restoring the ecosystem
  • A new governance system for the management of coastal activities on Thermaikos Bay
  • Using the cultural and natural capital of the Bay as vehicles for social cohesion and improved city life
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The renovation of the 5 km promenade has brought back the urban life to the waterfront. The waterfront has become the meeting place for leisure activities for people of any age. From the cultural activities of the A’ Pier of the Port on the west-end of the Old Waterfront to the events at the City Opera on the east-end of the New Waterfront, the Bay comprises a significant pole for Leisure and Culture reinforcing the role of the seafront as the jewel of the city.

 

Our Resilience Team

  • Lina Liakou

    Deputy Mayor of Urban Resilience and Development Planning, and Chief Resilience Officer

    @linaliakou
  • Maria Sitzoglou

    Social Policies and Participatory Planning

  • Aphrodite Bouikidis

    Innovation and International Partnerships

  • Vasilis Akylas

    Built and Natural Environment

  • Leon Kapetas

    Built and Natural Environment

  • Stella Psarropoulou

    Financial Planning and Administrative Affairs

Read Thessaloniki's Resilience Strategy