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Thessaloniki

With a population of around 1 million, Thessaloniki is the capital of the region of Macedonia. It is a major economic, industrial, commercial and political center, and an important transportation hub. Respectable measures have been implemented for a shift towards a more sustainable transport system.

The city has a modal split of around 45 percent private cars, 27 percent public transport, 12 percent pedestrians, 7 percent taxis, 6 percent motorcycles and 3 percent private buses. Around 1.6 million daily trips are made in Thessaloniki.

In the last five years, Thessaloniki has implemented a sustainable transport policy that includes the development of a new network of cycle lanes, pedestrianization schemes, bus lanes, clean buses and campaigns to promote healthy lifestyles. The main goal was to reduce traffic in the city center, resulting in less air pollution and improved quality of life. Good progress has been made as a result of successful awareness raising and changes in citizens’ behaviour. In the area of clean fuels and vehicles, the city has introduced clean buses (Euro 5 standard) into the public transport fleet. In addition, Thessaloniki is currently drawing up an ambitious strategic transportation plan.

The main challenge is to continue gaining public support and encouraging citizens to adapt to the new city environment.

Thessaloniki’s future targets include a new metro system (under construction), marine transportation and tram lines (currently being investigated), and increased intermodality.

The city works in cooperation with the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the municipalities of the metropolitan area of Thessaloniki, the Organization for Urban Planning and Environmental Protection, relevant government ministries and the port authority in implementing sustainable mobility measures.

Official city website: http://www.thessaloniki.gr/portal/page/portal/DimosThessalonikis

Summary finalized: June 2011

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