Thessaloniki’s Resilience Journey
Thessaloniki has a rich history as a major hub of business and culture, from the Roman period to the Byzantine Empire. Today it remains an important metropolitan region for Greece, with an active port, a respected university, and a robust tourist industry.
Thessaloniki has also been affected by the economic and political crises that have rocked Greece in recent years. Growing unemployment due to a shrinking manufacturing sector and a lack of opportunities for young people have increased social needs, while resources to provide services have decreased. The city has a dense urban structure with limited open or green space, somewhat offset by the peri-urban forest and a 7km waterfront.
Tensions have weakened 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 – a way to work collectively, sharing responsibility, resources, opportunities, and results. Thessaloniki is also using this approach to build response plans for natural disasters, crises, and chronic stresses, as well as engaging the city’s networks in resilience planning.
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