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Dimarelos

Georgios

Dimarelos

Validated Lead Expert

Generic Skills

B.1. Understanding of integrated and sustainable urban development: 
My educational background (Civil/Transport Engineer) provided the basis for the understanding of integrated and sustainable development, as urban development is strongly related with transport issues. This evolved for the first 9 years of my professional career, as I was involved in many projects that had to do with urban development. The last 8 years, being an elected member of the Thessaloniki City Council, I broadened this horizon in almost every parameter that is part of what we call sustainable and resilient urban development. The synergies among different stakeholders towards achieving this goal are under my responsibility in the City of Thessaloniki under the umbrella of our resilient strategy for the year 2030 that was implemented with the aid of the 100 Resilient Cities Network, pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. Furthermore, this strategy was incorporated in the Strategic and Operational Programme of the Municipality for the years 2014-2019 that I was overseeing as a Deputy Mayor for Urban Resilience and Development Programmes
B1. Assessment: 
1: The applicant has experience in the field of sustainable urban planning, specifically in the theme of urban mobility. The applicant has gained experience through an MSc in transport engineering and operations, and through his work as a transport consultant and at the urban mobility office at the municipality of Thessaloniki.
B.2. Understanding of exchange and learning processes at transnational level: 
The nature of my position requires serious exhange of knowledge with many international bodies and organizations. Being the Project Manager of the URBACT Programme "Resilient Europe: for the City of Thessaloniki and later having the overall responsibility for all the European Programmes and Networks of the City of Thessaloniki (including the other URBACT Programme that Thessaloniki was involved, "Arrival Cities") helped me to deeply understand the exchange and learning processes at transnational level.
B2. Assessment: 
1: The applicant is Project Manager at the URBACT Programme "Resilient Europe: for the City of Thessaloniki" and was formerly involved in another URBACT programma for Thessaloniki. The applicant therefore has understanding of exchange and learning processes at transnational level.
B.3. Proficiency in English: 
Apart of my educational degrees (BEng, MSc, MBA) that were acquired from English-speaking academic institutions, during my career as a Deputy Mayor I have a long list of speeches, presentations and interventions in different international events throughout Europe. Moreover, I represent the City of Thessaloniki in all major events in Brussels and elsewhere, as I have the responsibility for fundraising for the City. I consider my self as bilingual, when it comes to speaking English.
B3. Assessment: 
1: The applicant has C2 proficiency according to his CV. The applicant completed both BEng and a MSc at UK universities. He is involved in numerous English-speaking events as an expert and representing the City of Thessaloniki. His written level of English is convincing, but his application does show some typing errors. The applicant also mentions B2 proficiency in German on his CV.

Expertise for the design and delivery of transnational exchange and learning activities:

C.3.1. Ability to communicate complex concepts to non-English speakers: 
As the Deputy Mayor of Education, my previous position, I supervised programs that aimed for refugee integration. Part of our city’s refugee integration strategy was also the coordination of interactive activities (games, music etc.) which were co-created alongside with our city’s refugee response team. We had to design inclusion programmes for children refugees from Syria. We knew that these children were not in a position to communicate verbally with Greek kids of their age. What we did was to plan activities that verbal communication was not important. This was done by arranging visits to museums with the aid of adults that could explain some things to children and also by planning sports activities were kids had to play. We broke the language barrier by having fun. As for adult refugees, that had to be informed for bureaucratic procedures regarding their permit, I had to use the method of the four S's. Slow, Simple, Slang, Support. Besides that it was imperative to use a lot the body language and also try to look friendly in order to boost confidence and trust with these people.
C3.1 Assessment: 
1: The applicant provides various examples of situations where he has dealt with non-English speakers, being creative in order to facilitate knowledge exchange.
C.3.2. Ability to draw out, support the verbalization and documentation of knowledge and practice from participants: 
In 2016, I had the partial responsibility to organize a process that would conduct a preliminary resilience assessment for the city, through surveys, one-to-one interviews, workshops, expert minilabs, engaging more than 1000 people online and in person. The perspectives and knowledge of the participants was captured in the Preliminary Resilience Assessment of Thessaloniki, published June 2016 in both Greek and English. This engagement continued and further actions and recommendations were captured in "Thessaloniki 2030", the city's resilience strategy, published March 2017 in Greek and English.
C3.2 Assessment: 
1: The applicant describes a concrete example of working out a written document based on knowledge and practice from participants.
C.3.3. Ability to capture learning for participants to take away: 
In addition to the city's Preliminary Resilience Assessment and Resilience Strategy, we also have captured learning from municipality departments, citizens and local and international experts to create a digital strategy, an Integration Action Plan (the first city integration action plan in Greece), and a civil protection guide. We engaged participants through workshops, interviews, questionnaires and other methods in order to create action plans based on participant and partner knowledge and experiences. These documents are made available to the public online, but also presented in press conferences, presentations and meetings throughout City neighborhoods and at national and international events. These documents have been shared with local stakeholders as well as other cities around the world, and serves as the basis for continued discussion and local planning and collaboration.
C3.3 Assessment: 
1: The applicant describes a relevant example of learning processes, not only by his colleagues working on a project but also by participants.
C.3.4. Ability to produce concise reports that incorporate good practices and policy messages: 
As a Deputy Mayor, I contribute to global reports and best practices/policy documents, including: 1) the 100 Resilient Cities EU Resilience Prospectus, published and distributed publicly and to key policy-makers in 2017, and highlighting how cities stand at the forefront of the challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century in the European Union and throughout Europe, 2) the report that came out of the 100 Resilient Cities Cities Exchange gathering in Athens in September 2016, titled "Global Migration - Resilient Cities at the Forefront"
C3.4 Assessment: 
1: The applicant names 2 valid examples of written outputs in English. These documents can be found online.
Summary Expertise for the design and delivery of transnational exchange and learning activities: 
The nature of my position as a Chief Resilience Officer for the 100 Resilient Cities Network, has as a main responsibility the design and delivery of transnational exchange and learning activities. Throughout this period, noteably and among others, I had the opportunity to organize a trnasnational lab for transport inverstments that involved participation of international actors and local stakeholders that was used by the Network as a flagship event fot other cities to do the same. This lab involved many high lecel companies like ARUP, IMG Rebel, CISCO and many others. All participants felt that they were participating not only in a transnational meeting but also in a learning activity that led to a report that was the basis for further capitalization from the Municipality, for absorbing funds for project maturity. In addition, the cooperation with World Bank for the production of the Continuity Plan of the City, was another example of learning activity through transnational exchange, as the main challenge was to adopt international procedures and standards. This was achieved with a trial and error method where we simulated past failures to discuss what could be done differently.
Assessment: 
1: The applicant is validated for category C by answering all questions to satisfaction.

Thematic expertise:

Theme / Policy: 
Urban Strategic Planning
D.1. Deep knowledge on the selected theme and related policy challenges, including up to date practice, research, etc.: 
As a Deputy Mayor for Urban Resilience and Development Programmes, I had the responsibilty for the Strategic and Operational Plan of the City of Thessaloniki for the years 2014-2019 and the implementation of our strategic resilient agenda for the year 2030. This was a very challenging procedure since we had to match our current short term planning with the long term planning for the year 2030. This whole procedure is very important for the operation of the City of Thessaloniki, as the requests for regional and national funds, had to be related with the planning of the City.
D1 Assessment: 
1: The applicant has broadened his thematic knowledge of mobility planning to strategic planning more broadly, working as Deputy Mayor of Urban Resilience and Development Programmes. This shift is visible in his CV.
D.2. Ability to produce thematic inputs to feed in the learning process of in projects in which you have been involved: 
For the development of our resilient agenda for 2030, we did a number of briefings with local stakeholders in order to ensure a bottom up approach. As our resilient strategy relies on 4 main pillars we had various briefings taking place with respective stakeholders in cooperation with the availability of platform partners of the 100 Resilient Cities Network, that assisted in the learning process at transnational level. So, as the stakeholders were determining the challenges that lie ahead for the city, at the same time we were using the transnational experience to learn what sort of applications there are available for the City to benefit.
D2 Assessment: 
1: The applicant shares a relevant example of his thematic input on strategic urban planning, working on the resilient agenda 2030 for Thessaloniki.
D.3. Ability to produce concise reports that incorporate learning from exchange & learning activities, put forward good practice: 
As a deputy mayor I drafted a concise report to the rest of the members of the cabinet that described the projects that are eligible for funding under the new european framework 2021-2027. This report was divided in thematic areas, according to the responsibilities of each member of the cabinet, in order for them to coordinate their departments accordingly. This report came as a result of the exchange and learning activities that took place in the European Week of Cities and Regions that took place in Brussels. Likewise, a similar concise report was delivered again to the cabinet, indicating specific actions that could be implemented by various departments of the City, based on the knowledge that was gained during the 2-year period that was needed for the Resilience Agenda of the City. This included possible collaborations that could be arranged with platform partners of the 100 Resilient Cities Network that have specific service offerings for cities helping them tackle the threats that are described within the Rsilience Agenda of the city for 2030
D3 Assessment: 
1: In his previous answer the applicant provided an example, but he was too brief about his ability to produce reports for learning exchange and activities. In his new answer, the applicant goes into sufficient detail.
D.4. Understanding of how to maximize the use of project results for benefits in capitalization, policy design, awarenes: 
As a Deputy Mayor for Urban Resilience, I supervised the cooperation of the Coca Cola Foundation with the City of Thessaloniki towards building a zero waste city in the future. On of the project outputs was the City Plan for Reduction of Waste, that demonstrated actions that should be taken for this purpose. My role in this plan was to coordinate the CC Foundation with the recycling department in providing tangeable and measurable goals for the city. As far as the dissemination strategy is concerned I was the project leader of the digital campain that involved citizens voting for specific open spaces that we were going to install especially designed furniture made from recycled material.
D4 Assessment: 
1: The applicant did not go into sufficient detail about using project results for benefits in capitalization, policy design and awareness. In his new answer, the applicant does so convincingly.
Summary Thematic expertise: 
My role as Deputy Mayor for Urban Resilience and Development Programmes in the City of Thessaloniki was the strategic and operational planning of the City and the implementation of our resilient agenda for the year 2030. This allowed me to be fully involved in the City's strategic urban planning and to have an active role in the decision making process. I had to supervise all the actions that were leading to policy making and awareness, as we had a bottom up approach for this process. The appropriate stakeholder engagement in the problem solving process, was an important aspect for the public acceptance of policy making. The most important factor is not only to have or develop a strategic urban agenda, but also try to connect the implementation of the agenda to possible funding opportunitites. This needs vision and knowledge of how public funding in a european level is working, and my position allowed me to fully understanding the process of how to develop and, most importantly, implement a strategic urban agenda
Assessment: 
1: The applicant is validated for the theme urban strategic planning by answering all questions to satisfaction.
Theme / Policy: 
Sustainable Urban Mobility
D.1. Deep knowledge on the selected theme and related policy challenges, including up to date practice, research, etc.: 
My educational background is civil/transport engineering. I worked in the provate sector over a decade in cinsulting and product development. I was project manager in many sustainable urban mobility plans and also in strategic restructuring of big transport enterprises, like the Greek Railway Organization, the Heraclion Port Authority and also feasibility studies for implementation of new services, like consolidation centres. From 2011 up to 2016, as a city councelor, I was appointed by the Mayor in Mobility. This involved the policy making foe urban mobility, parking and the implementation of the City of Thessaloniki Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan. Finally, on September 2018 I was selected by DG MOVE for the CIVITAS Political Advisory Committee, that proposes to the EC the policy for Urban Transport on a 2 year mandate.
D1 Assessment: 
1: The applicant has a clear educational and professional background in sustainable urban mobility.
D.2. Ability to produce thematic inputs to feed in the learning process of in projects in which you have been involved: 
In the URBACT Programme "Resilient Europe", the City of Thessaloniki was focused on how to engage local stakeholders in the promotion of bicycle use and infrastructure design. These local staholders involved municipality departments, NGO's, private companies, government authorities, school communities. This ULG was actively involved in the learning process at transnational level, on how we proceed with the problem solving process, that was taught in the Summer University in Rotterdam. On another occasion I organized a briefing in a certain school that involved students that took an active role in designing safe routes to their school. The briefing resulted to the City getting funding from the Regional Government for actually implementing this routes as a best practice for participatory planning. The report of the abovementioned procedure was shared at a transnational meeting in Bonn, Germany, where in an event organized by ICLEI, we presented the process, methodology and actions taken towards achieving resilient and participatory planning processes.
D2 Assessment: 
1: In his previous answer the applicant described a specific program example, but did not specify the thematic input he provided. In his new answer the applicant does so convincingly.
D.3. Ability to produce concise reports that incorporate learning from exchange & learning activities, put forward good practice: 
Based on the knowledge gained from the URBACT "Resilient Europe" Programme, we used the report of the Programme as a basis for justification of funding for the construction of infrastructure for bicycles in Thessaloniki. The report that incorporated the good practice from the aforementioned Programme, was submitted to the Regional Government of Central Macedonia. As a result the City of Thessaloniki got a funding of 1,2M€, to develp its infrastructure. My role was dual n this process. First, as a project manager for the Programme I was responsible for the writing of the report, and later on as responsible Deputy Mayor for Funding, I supervised the writing of the request to the regional Government that led to the funding to the City of Thessaloniki.
D3 Assessment: 
1: The applicant is convincing in describing his experience developing concise reports involving learning exchange and activities.
D.4. Understanding of how to maximize the use of project results for benefits in capitalization, policy design, awarenes: 
The City of Thessaloniki, the Hellenic Institute of Transport and the Regional Government of Central Macedonia cooperated in a project that was funded by the European Economic Area for the optimization of the operation of traffic lights in the city. The project also included the provision of ITS for monitoring traffic conditions in the city that helped the automated system. As capitalization process I was involved as a project manager for the implementation of a navigation tool for citizens that is now operating for environment friendly navigation (mobithess.gr). This procedure generated more capitalization actions that involved the integration of these applications in our GIS services that are freele available to the public that operate as a very effective dissemination tool. In addition the development of smart city solutions are contributing to a never-ending process of policy design that affects our smart city digital strategy that is a major parameter in our participation in the Digital Cities Challenge iniative coordinated by the European Commission that I have the responsibility to monitor in the organizational structure of the City of Thessaloniki.
D4 Assessment: 
1: In his previous answer te applicant described using project results for benefits only in vague and general terms. In his new answer the applicant is more specific.
Summary Thematic expertise: 
My educational and professional background as a civil/transport engineer gave me all the necessary tools to understand how promote from a consulting point of view the sustainable urban mobility meaning. In my professional career I have worked in many SUMP's and restructuring of transport infrastructure organizations. On the other hand, my involvement as an elected city councelor appointed in mobility from 2011 up to 2016, gave me the opportunity to integrate this knowledge and from the public authority point of view and understand the limitations and opportunities of the public sector. At the same time my appointment as member of Board of Directors of the Thessaloniki Urban Transport Authority gave me the opportunity to work on integrated and combined transport operations in a metropolitan level. Finally, my appointment as a member of the Political Advisory Committee of CIVITAS that proposes the EU policy in urban transport, is a very strong proof of the knowledge that is present in promoting sustainable transport in a european level.
Assessment: 
1: The applicant is validated for the theme of Sustainable Urban Mobility by answering all questions to satisfaction.
Theme / Policy: 
Local Governance
D.1. Deep knowledge on the selected theme and related policy challenges, including up to date practice, research, etc.: 
I am an elected member of city council from 2011 up to know, the term is ending on August 31 2019. During this period I was appointed in mobility up to 2016, served a Deputy Mayor for Education and Sports in 2017 and the last 2 years I am a Deputy Mayor for Urban Resilience and Development Programmes. I have gained an all around knowledge of local governance.
D1 Assessment: 
1: The applicant is clearly experience in Local Governance, working as a member of city council since 2011 in several fields.
D.2. Ability to produce thematic inputs to feed in the learning process of in projects in which you have been involved: 
As part of our cooperation with the City of Tel Aviv regarding the coastal development of our cities, I briefed the Mayor of Tel Aviv, Mr. Houldai, and their respective departments for the authorities that a Greek municipality has on their their coastal management. This included a structured presentation on the overlaps with other authorities and how we are trying to tackle them with the aid of the World Bank that acts as a consultant to the reform of the Greek Municipal Code. In addition, on a trnsnational level I drafted a report for the OSF (Open Society Foundations) that described the responsibilities of the City in designing projects that dealt with the inclusion of vulnerable minorities. The report acted as a guide for other countries that had issues with the inclusion of refugees for the steps that had to be taken in designing actions that were addressed not only to minorities but to local population as well. This report was a motive for the Embassy of Norway to leverage funding for billateral cooperation of Greek and Norwegian Cities for exchange of knowledge.
D2 Assessment: 
1: The applicant provides two valid examples of producing thematic inputs for projects within the theme of Local Governance.
D.3. Ability to produce concise reports that incorporate learning from exchange & learning activities, put forward good practice: 
The operational plan of the City of Thessaloniki for the period of 2014-1019 is an example of a report that included policy messages not only for policy makers, but also for funding authorities. This operational plan, plus the Resilient Thessaloniki agenda, provided the basis for putting forward the cooperation with the European Investement Bank, that resulted to a development loan of 20M € for the City. My role was and still is to match the funding with the relevant projects to be implemented in order to ensure the local governance goals set by the administration. In addition, with the aid of CommonSpace, an NGO that is assisting cities develop methodologies for the use of public space, I drafted a report that is providing an automated procedure for the use and reservation of public spaces based on the experience gained from a learning activity as a pilot that involved the local council, municipal libraries and kindergartens.
D3 Assessment: 
1: The applicant provides a fitting answer providing a concise report involving a development loan for the city of Thessaloniki.
D.4. Understanding of how to maximize the use of project results for benefits in capitalization, policy design, awarenes: 
On of the cities most critical problems is the delay in response to citizens complaints. the respective department of administrative reform dealt with this issue and simplified the bureaucracy involved. Me, being responsible for the smart cities area of the City, capitalized on the work done and we took this opportunity to establish, for dissemination purposes and for avoiding personal interference, a digital strategy that involved the provision of a platform where citizens have the opportunity to file a complaint with the use of smartphones. this tool is called "Improve my City" and is acting not only as a tool for improving the city, but also as a monitoring tool to measure the time of response of each department to citizens complaint.
D4 Assessment: 
0: The applicant provides an original answer of reducing municipal bureaucracy, but not necessarily of using project results for benefits in capitalization, policy design and awareness.
Summary Thematic expertise: 
Being an elected member of the Thessaloniki City Council from 2011, gave me the opportunity to fully understand the issues that relate with local governance. My specific involvement with policy design and implementation of strategy resulted in a cooperation with the European Investment Bank for an infrastructure loan that is helping the City to capitalize its resilience plan. The City of Thessaloniki was the first Municipality in Greece that capitalized on its strategy with such a development loan. My day by day involvement with the operation of the Municipality gave me the experience on how to design projects and consequently on how to proceed even further and try to realize projects based on the available resources, whether these resources are human or financial.
Assessment: 
1: The applicant is validated for the theme of Local Governance by answering 3/4 questions to satisfaction1

Expertise support to local authorities and other stakeholders in designing & delivering integrated and participatory policies

E.1. Knowledge on participatory methods and tools for co-production and implementation of local polices : 
Being a Deputy Mayor in Urban Resilience, responsible for the stretegic and operational planning of the City and also responsible for the funding of the municipality, on its own and by definition gave me all the necessary expertise on participatory methods and tools for coproduction and implementation of local policies in all themes. Within the frame of Urbact III Program: Resilient Europe, as the Program Supervisor, I was supervising various participatory activities, such as the Problem Solving tree, a method we developed by joining the Summer University of URBACT in Rotterdam, which we applied during ULG meetings as well as interactive questionnaires during on street events, aiming to harvest citizens’ insights and perceptions regarding the newly designed bike lanes. Moreover, within the frame of the Resilient Strategy, we coordinated a 5-month policy co-creation process, including participatory mapping, neighbourhood voting and co-designing workshops and e-participation platform for the development of the city’s “public space co-creation policy”
E.1 Assessment: 
1: In his previous answer, the applicant gave one example of using participatory methods and tools for co-production and implementation of local policies, but he remained quite broad. In his new answer the applicant is specific enough.
E.2. Knowledge on integrated approach for the design, delivering, monitoring and evaluation of urban strategies/policies: 
Within the Thessaloniki Urban Resilience Strategy, we have developed integrated and cross-disciplinary approaches in responding to complex urban challenges. For example, regarding strategy’s objective for reducing air pollution and urban noise, we have designed a holistic approach which includes actions that range from infrastructure interventions to innovative monitoring tools/ systems and citizen awareness. More specifically, in alignment with the Covenant of Mayors that aims for 40% CO2 emissions by 2030, we are expanding the low emission zones in neighborhoods, extending the bike lane network in metropolitan scale, promoting cycling through awareness activities and advancing our existing air quality monitoring system. The city already maintains 7 air quality stations and currently we secured funding through an Interreg – Balkan – MED program to update and support this monitoring system with Ambient Air IoT Smart Sensors, an Open Data Platform and Smart Applications that enable crowdsourcing data. Furthermore, as the Deputy Mayor I contributed in securing national funding for the development of the city’s Observatory of Urban Resilience (OUR), which will be measuring and monitoring the implementation of the Resilient Strategy in 4 streams; environmental, social, economic and governance. The indicators of OUR are a combination of the ISO37120 (indicators for sustainable development of communities, city services and quality of life) and the Resilient Strategy indicators
E.2 Assessment: 
1: The applicant goes into significant detail about two projects he was involved in as a deputy mayor, focusing on design, monitoring and evaluation of urban strategies.
E.3. Awareness of the main policy and funding schemes for sustainable urban development at EU and national level: 
My position allows me to travel abroad and participate in all the necessary seminars, congresses, and workshops that are for urban development policies, trends, and funds. I have established a good network of contacts that we cooperating with (EUROCITIES for example), that keeps me up to date not only for regional and national funding opportunitites, but also for international initiatives that are helping cities to improve their capacity and knowledge.
E.3 Assessment: 
1: The applicant convincingly refers to his networks in keeping up to date with the main policy and funding schemes for urban development. He could have elaborated more on other channels, but this is sufficient for now.
E.4. Ability to understand specific local situations and adapt tools and content to different local realities: 
The social inclusion of refugees is very big challenge when it comes to different local realities and perspectives. My role as a Deputy Mayor for Education in 2017, was partially to design inclusion programmes that had to rake care of all the local realities. We had to design for refugees, but at the same time for local ppulation in order not to give the impression that we are not interested for the dificcult situation that many greek households are into because of the financial crisis. Our responsible approach led to different funding opportunities of significant international institutions like the OSF, UNHCR and UNICEF, a proof that we were considered as a reliable partner for designing local policies for different local realities.
E.4 Assessment: 
1: The applicant delivers and excellent example of taking the local context into account when working on a specific project.
Summary Expertise: 
Being a Deputy Mayor for Urban Resilience and Development Programmes, responsible for the Strategic and Operational Planning for the City and for the implementation of our resilient agenda for the year 2030, by definition gave me all the experience and knowledge that is needed to develop, implement and monitor integrated participatory methods. The introduction of a long term city plan, needs to take into account the fact that this has to come as a result of a bottom up approach that is independent from a particular city administration. Rhe agenda for the year 2030, was a perfect example of such a participarory method. More than 1400 individuals, NGO's, research centres, universities, unions were actively involved in this participatory process. I have deep knowledge of the difficulties that municipalities face at local level for policies in general and I am capable of sharing this knowledge and experience for helping other cities and networks to proceed accordingly.
Assessment: 
1; The applicant is validated for category E by answering all questions to satisfaction.

Informations

Residence location:
Greece
Languages:
Greek - Mother tongue
Foreign Languages level: 
Foreign languages: 
,
Foreign Languages level: 
Foreign languages: 
Email:
dimarelos@gmail.com

Area of expertise