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URBACT in

Greece

The Greek urban system is characterised by the primary role of the metropolitan urban areas of Athens and Thessaloniki; roughly half of the population of Greece lives in these two cities. Metropolitan governance is not foreseen in the Greek local government law despite the population size and challenges of these two extensive areas. There is a number of much smaller cities (under 200,000 inhabitants) which are unable to compete with them in most indicators. Many port-cities such as Rhodes, Heraklion, Chania, Nafplio, Kavala, Volos are depending their local economic development mostly on tourism. Regarding the main urban strategies of the last decades these were more focused on physical planning and less to the confrontation of social and economic problems. Nowadays youth unemployment, social innovation, urban sprawl, heritage management and tourism planning are some of the key challenges Greek cities are looking into.

The Greek urban system is characterised by the primary role of the metropolitan urban areas of Athens and Thessaloniki; roughly half of the population of Greece lives in these two cities. Metropolitan governance is not foreseen in the Greek local government law despite the population size and challenges of these two extensive areas. There is a number of much smaller cities (under 200,000 inhabitants) which are unable to compete with them in most indicators. Many port-cities such as Rhodes, Heraklion, Chania, Nafplio, Kavala, Volos are depending their local economic development mostly on tourism. Regarding the main urban strategies of the last decades these were more focused on physical planning and less to the confrontation of social and economic problems. Nowadays youth unemployment, social innovation, urban sprawl, heritage management and tourism planning are some of the key challenges Greek cities are looking into. 

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