Thessaloniki Releases Greece’s First Citywide Resilience Strategy

The Resilience Strategy will enable the city of Thessaloniki to plan integrated solutions that look to guarantee the well-being of its citizens, and nurtures its human talent, while strengthening the city’s urban economy and respecting its natural resources.

To develop the strategy, the City of Thessaloniki was supported 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC). Thessaloniki was selected to join the 100RC network in 2014, out of more than 1,000 applications from around the world.

More than 2,000 people and 40 organizations from across the city participated in workshops, teams, and questionnaires to express their views on Thessaloniki’s resilience, with a notable focus on issues related to the local economy and mobility.

THESSALONIKI, GREECE – Mayor Yiannis Boutaris and the City of Thessaloniki today launched “Resilient Thessaloniki – A Strategy for 2030”, an ambitious citywide strategy that looks to guarantee the well-being of Thessaloniki’s people and nurtures its human talent, while strengthening its urban economy and respecting its natural resources. The strategy is the result of a two-year intensive partnership with 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC).

To develop the strategy, the City of Thessaloniki joined forces with Metropolitan Development Agency of Thessaloniki to create a strategy that delivers both local and metropolitan scale solutions. Thessaloniki 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, Thessaloniki named Lina Liakou as the city’s Chief Resilience Officer, who led the development of “Resilient Thessaloniki.”

Yiannis Boutaris, Mayor of Thessaloniki, said the Resilience Strategy is a great opportunity to be part of a global community of cities and people, and to develop a holistic plan for the future of Thessaloniki. “2030 is not far away – it is 13 years in the horizon. Looking back 13 years from now, we were celebrating the 2004 Summer Olympics in Greece, unaware of the impending economic and political crisis. Significant changes can happen in 13 years and our city has survived many of those over the centuries. Now is the time to maximize our efforts to ensure a legacy for future generations and together create a new roadmap for the ongoing development of the city.”

Lina Liakou, Chief Resilience Officer and Deputy Mayor in Urban Resilience and Development Planning, describes the next steps following the strategy release.

“The Resilience Strategy represents the start of a process of co-creation. It builds on what we have already achieved and who we are while addressing our present and future challenges. It will serve as a roadmap to guide the evolution of activities as the city works with communities, local partners and a global network to become more dynamic, inclusive and sustainable.”

“This is the new kind of urban governance, planning and strategy that the Office for Urban Resilience is promoting. The Office was established February 2016, following the city’s selection in the 100RC network.”

Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities, applauded the city’s release. “The work to create a citywide strategy in the midst of a crucial period of human and economic challenges in Greece is a moment of progress. Through the implementation of this strategy, Thessaloniki will be able to leverage partnership and funding in new and innovative ways to create an economically dynamic, welcoming city for generations.”

More than 2,000 people and 40 organizations from across the city participated in workshops, teams, and questionnaires to express their views on Thessaloniki’s resilience, with a notable focus on issues related to the local economy and mobility.

Four main goals form the basis of the strategy:

  • Shaping a thriving and sustainable city with mobility and city systems that serve its people
  • Co-creating an inclusive city that invests in its human talent
  • Building a dynamic urban economy and responsive city through effective and networked governance
  • Re-discovering the city’s relationship with the sea – integrated Thermaikos Bay.

These goals are broken down into 30 objectives and more than 100 actions, each with multiple benefits for the resilience of the city and population. Actions include policies, projects, and initiatives (existing and new), from youth participation to clean power for mobility; from waste management to co-ownership of public space and risk reduction.

The strategy aligns with and complements other strategic initiatives in the local, regional, national and international domain, including the city’s 5-year Operational Plan 2020 and European Strategy for 2020.

ENDS

Enquiries and interview requests to:

Aphrodite Bouikidis
aphrodite.bouikidis@gmail.com

Andrew Brenner
ABrenner@100resilientcities.org

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.