We love Athens
Athens has been named as Europe’s ‘most innovative city’ by the European Capital of Innovation contest and has been awarded a cash prize of €1 million.
Athens was chosen for a range of projects it has implemented, including its ‘Curing the Limbo’ initiative which helps migrants and refugees connect with local residents in order to learn the language, find employment, gain skills and engage in the community.
Other examples of innovative projects from the city included its offer of digital literacy training, a project to revitalize abandoned buildings by giving grants to local organizations, and the ‘This is Athens’ campaign which invited volunteers to record information about the city, past and present, for visiting tourists.
The winning city was announced by Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, in a ceremony at the 2018 edition of Web Summit in Lisbon, the world’s largest tech event: “Athens stands out as an example that a city facing many challenges can achieve great things,” he told the audience. “Through innovation, Athens has found a new purpose to turn around the economic and social crisis. It is proof that it’s not the difficulties but how you raise yourself above them that matters.”
The prize, funded under Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme, is given to the city which has shown outstanding use of innovation to improve lives for its citizens and businesses.
“Athens is the EU Capital of Innovation 2018! A city that uses innovation to leave no one behind, a story of urban & social like no other. Let’s be inspired by this great innovation capital!” – Carlos Moedas
Five other cities made it to the final stage of the awards, including Aarhus (Denmark), Athens (Greece), Hamburg (Germany), Leuven (Belgium), Toulouse (France), Umeå (Sweden). Each of the five finalist cities takes home €100,000.
To take home the award the cities must convince a panel of independent experts that they use innovative concepts and processes that engage and empower citizens and help improve the resilience and sustainability of the cities.
This year twenty-six eligible cities from 16 countries applied to the competition. Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Paris won the prize in 2014, 2016 and 2017 respectively. Source: www.euronews.com
Curing the Limbo
From apathy to active citizenship: Empowering refugees and migrants in limbo state to ignite housing affordability.
“’Curing the limbo’ is a unique opportunity to connect the refugee population to the active citizens of Athens, in a cyclical exchange system that will also address pressing and recurring city needs. UIA financing also gives our city the chance to test an innovative model of social exchange, which will create powerful ties between citizens that wouldn’t otherwise interact. It is an investment in our human capital that builds upon the recognition of bottom-up approaches in resolving city challenges and, ultimately, enhancing social cohesion” – Georgios Kaminis, Mayor of Athens
This is Athens
About this great idea:
“The official website “This is Athens” accompanies visitors through the variety of Athens.
The official City of Athens guide allows travelers to get to know the city of Athens and plan their trip beforehand with useful information on accommodation, transportation, food, and city attractions.
The visitor can easily get acquainted with the Athenian neighborhoods as well as find things to do, where to go and what’s best to see in the Greek capital.
With a “hand-picked” cultural agenda showcasing the very best of festivals, nightlife, exhibition, and events, “This is Athens” website ensures visitors won’t miss out on anything.
“This is My Athens”, a collective community of passionate locals who voluntarily offer walks around the city, are available to book through the digital platform.
Athens. One City. Never Ending Stories.”