The second-largest city of Greece, which is home to one million inhabitants across the metropolitan region, is a densely populated area that stretches along the Mediterranean Sea. Thanks to its rich history, culture and leisure activities, Thessaloniki is an important centre for tourism. Unfortunately, during the months of the COVID-19 pandemic, this important revenue stream evaporated for the Greek city. Also, the inhabitants in the crowded city craved for green and open spaces. Both challenges were solved by great solutions that were presented to the project partners of the REFORM project.
The participants were given information material about the REFORM and got acquainted with good practices in relation to the issues of the use of public spaces and sustainable urban mobility: the Kodra camp in Municipality of Kalamaria and the SUSTOURISMO project. The participants visited the Kodra camp, where they had the opportunity to be guided by the vice Mayor of the Municipality of Kalamaria, Ms Natalia Pantelidou, and discuss with her about the process of conceding the camp to public use during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the future recreation plans for the area. Even though the spring just started in mid-March, the lush green hills of the Kodra Military Camp with first blossoming flowers already proved that it was a great decision to open up this formerly unused area to the public.
Next, the participants were given instructions for using the SUSTOURISMO application. The Lead Partner of REFORM project, the Hellenic Institute of Transport (HIT/CERTH), is the owner of this good practice and Dr Maria Morfoulaki introduced the SUSTOURISMO pack which includes a guided tour at significant landmarks and points of tourist interest in the historic center of Thessaloniki, as well as a biking experience at the local seafront. The participants not only had the chance to experience the rich cultural history of the Romans, Ancient Greeks, and early Christians, the SUSTOURISMO pack also provided additional information and the opportunity to provide feedback to the tourist guides.