THESSALONIKI TREASURES ITS URBAN AGRICULTURE INITIATIVES
Edited on04 September 2020
It has been ascertained through the different urban agriculture initiatives in Europe that urban gardens provide multiple benefits for our cities and their citizens. In the case of Thessaloniki, the COVID – 19 pandemic has fostered the commitment of the City in favouring urban gardens as a means to promote the overall resilience of the City.
The pandemic has brought to light the importance of green public spaces in a city where they are scarce, showing how necessary open public spaces are to walk, exercise, be. Thessaloniki, with only 2.14m2 of green area per resident, has seen the limited green and public spaces overcrowded by people. The experience highlighted the importance of local pocket gardens in neighbourhoods and urban gardens can do exactly this.
Kipos3 is a successful example of how a neighbourhood can be activated to develop and sustain a green space with the support of the municipality. It has transformed a relatively small and ignored area into a buzzing active hub. Providing multiple benefits including, most importantly, the social activation of public space, Kipos3 is a concept that can be adapted and applied in several areas in Thessaloniki. Such is the case of the many limited, fragmented and small open spaces that often don’t appear welcoming to the nearby residents. The experiences from Kipos3 and the Ru:rban network are the vivid proof that Urban Gardens can turn these spaces into active neighbourhood centres; public spaces managed and cherished by the neighbourhood, providing much-needed oases to the residents of Thessaloniki.
In this sense, the City of Thessaloniki and KEDITH (Common Benefit Enterprise of Thessaloniki Municipality) are working towards developing a new Urban Garden in the eastern area of the City. Building on the experience of Ru:rban and Kipos3, the ULG members are providing their insights to support this important effort.
Submitted by Patricia Hernandez on