Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki map

Situated in northern Greece, Thessaloniki is Greece’s second largest city, home to the country’s second largest export and transit port, and the nearest European Union port to the Balkans and Black Sea zone. Thessaloniki also has the largest youth population of any city in Greece, thanks to its wealth of academic institutions and vibrant nightlife.

The city hosts approximately 150,000 students each year through four public academic institutions, several private colleges, and numerous vocational training colleges. Having increased the number of international tourists by 30%, overnight stays by 110%, and international flights by 15% since 2009, Thessaloniki is now looking to draw on the lessons learned in developing its tourism sector to grow other local industries, regenerate the urban economy, and attract investments that promote sustainable growth.

The basic strategic objective of the Municipality of Thessaloniki is the transformation of the city into an integrated, open and participatory platform, through the effective use of ICT. This means an interconnected city for everyone, that uses data, is participatory and supports digital innovation.

Thessaloniki digital transformation strategy

The vision and the strategy of the city is the outcome of an assessment and consultation process which involved key stakeholders of Thessaloniki. It builds on existing efforts and reflects the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities of the city which were identified through individual interviews with the main actors and analysis of the literature. 

The main findings and initials ideas for the vision and ambitions of the city, the strategy and the operational objectives were put together by the city core team and discussed with stakeholders in various meetings and workshops. Peer cities further reviewed the vision and ambition statements during Academy seminars organised in Brussels and Thessaloniki before their finalisation.