Six Greek Cities To Become EU Climate-Neutral & Smart Cities

  • by XpatAthens
  • Thursday, 26 May 2022
Six Greek Cities To Become EU Climate-Neutral & Smart Cities
Six Greek cities, Athens, Ioannina, Kalamata, Kozani, Thessaloniki, and Trikala have been selected by the European Commission among 377 cities to participate in the EU Mission for 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030 in the domains of energy, transportation, and urban planning.

The Mission for Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities is a novelty of the Horizon Europe research and innovation program for 2021-2027. It aims to bring concrete solutions to the enormous challenge of climate change and digital transformation. The selection of the Greek cities is a great success for the country and it is the result of hard work and cooperation between the 6 cities and the Greek Environment Ministry in the last two years.

Kozani: The energy producing area of Greece

Kozani is a city in northern Greece, the capital of the Kozani region of West Macedonia. The city is known for its large lignite power plants making it, so far, the leading energy-producing area of Greece. After the Greek government’s decision though about the closure of all coal-fired plants by 2028 (the deadline for Kozani being in 2023), local authorities have been preparing a new Strategic Plan for the city aiming to contribute to a smoother transition toward a clean energy regime. The new plan includes policies that will be innovative in energy efficiency through the development of Renewable Energy Sources enhancing at the same time the digital transformation of the local economy and governance. 

Trikala: The first digital city of Greece

Trikala sits at the heart of the Greek mainland, located in the region of Thessaly and it has the reputation of being a frontrunner as a smart city, being labeled in 2004 as Greece’s “first digital city”. Today under the name “Smart Trikala”, public authorities have developed a wide range of digital solutions to help improve the lives of citizens and the city has performed highly in terms of innovation results. Trikala is one of the most dynamic medium-sized cities in Europe, being a pioneer in designing innovative ICT solutions in electromobility, energy, e-health, and open governance for the benefit of its citizens.

Ioannina: The lake city of Epirus

Ioannina is the capital of Epirus, a north-western region of Greece, and a beautiful lake city with long history built on Egnatia Odos, an ancient route that connects Europe with Asia. The economy of Ioannina has purely urban characteristics determined by the fact that the city is the commercial and administrative center of the region. Sustainable urban development, with respect and protection of the natural environment, is among the key elements and major strategic goals of all policy strategies and plans of the Municipality. 

Kalamata: The Mediterranean city of the southwestern Peloponnese

Kalamata is a Mediterranean city of the southwestern Peloponnese and the capital of Messinia, being faced occasionally with extreme weather events. To deal with the effects of climate change, local authorities in Kalamata have been implementing national and EU projects of more than 120 million Euros for the last 5 years, while at the same time through their participation in these programs local authorities have gained important knowledge and they have participated in beneficial synergies and networks.

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Main image: @dimos.kozanis