Strategic Plan of Sustainable Urban Development of Thessaloniki for smart, sustainable & inclusive growth is an example of metropolitan planning & implementing.
Thessaloniki is a lively, multicultural & polycentric city which requires cooperation in order to succeed Sustainable Urban Development. The key element was putting forward a participatory process with the citizens & various actors of the city at a metropolitan level. Strategic Plan of Sustainable Urban Development of Thessaloniki entails the collaboration of local citizens, civil society, Industry & various levels of government, in particular the Metropolitan Unity of Thessaloniki of RCM as intermediate body & 8 municipalities (Ampelokipoi-Menemeni, Thessaloniki, Kalamaria, Kordelio-Evosmos, Neapoli-Sykies, Pavlou Mela, Pylea–Chortiatis and Delta). A two-phase process was followed. Firstly, the Monitoring Committee was established. The main objectives of the Committee are: Initiate dialogue and broad engagement of the local authorities; Segregation of duties; Metropolitan planning and implementing. Secondly, a specific procedure of consultations, public meeting, exchange of knowledge & participatory events was used to ensure that the final proposed strategy would be accepted by all the stakeholders and will include their expectations. Data analysis & evaluation was made using multi-criteria analysis, a widely used framework to understand challenges, capabilities, weaknesses & perspectives at various dimensions of urban life. The vision is summarized in “Renaissance of the city and the formation of a sustainable living and working environment for the inhabitants”
Experts named as special team of Planning & Evaluation of the Strategic Plan of Sustainable Urban Development of the Metropolitan area of Thessaloniki were used under the guidance of the Managing Authority of the Operational Program of the RCM. Also, an external advisor was used as technical support
Evidence of success
Strategic Plan of Sustainable Urban Development of the Metropolitan area of Thessaloniki for 2014-2020, is aiming to create a new roadmap for the ongoing development of the metropolitan area. The main vision of the strategic plan concerned the “Renaissance of the city and the formation of a sustainable living and working environment for the inhabitants”. The specific project is to respond to all challenges, capabilities, Weaknesses and Perspectives through 4 Strategic Axes.
A difference emerged between the areas where local authorities (municipalities and region) and academia focus their actions and the areas where there are civil society actors. Additionally lack of communication among stakeholders as well as the existence of institutional barriers were identified.
Potential for learning or transfer
The Metropolitan Unity of Thessaloniki (Central Macedonia Region), that implemented this practice, act as an intermediate body that works together with the eight municipalities in the metropolitan area of Thessaloniki, to achieve a metropolitan-regional approach as well as attain fast, co-operative administrative procedures.
Aspects of the GP that are interesting: the collaboration & citizen engagement in the development of the strategy were key priorities, the regional scale implementation and the creation of a model of metropolitan planning and implementing.
Also important are the mechanisms that were realized in order to monitor the achieved results: Reinforce the dialogue both inside the region and with external stakeholders and communities through seminars, workshops, and open discussions; Management resources rational and develop partnerships; Develop a model in order to observe and to assess the Strategy, which includes Monitoring Territorial Impacts and Evaluation Reports.