New members from Greece and Belarus swell CIVITAS ranks

Over the last two months, the CIVITAS Forum Network has welcomed nine new members from Greece and Belarus.

The city of Baranavichy has joined from Belarus, whilst the eight from Greece are Farkadona, Igoumenitsa, Kythnos, Metamorfosi, Drama, Kozani, Trikala and Veria.

Close collaboration between the CIVITAS Secretariat and CIVINET Greece-Cyprus was a major factor in the decision of eight Greek municipalities to join. Some municipalities have already started to implement sustainable mobility measures and to develop their first Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan.

Igoumenitsa was the winner of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award 2017 for smaller municipalities. The municipality is working to increase mixed modality in and beyond its suburban areas, including the small towns surrounding the city. With new bus routes and an easy access bike-sharing scheme, increased cycling and public transport usage is being encouraged.

The municipality of Farkadona has implemented smart city initiatives, such as its intelligent bus stop, which offers a high-level of service to users of the public transport and to pedestrians.

The Municipality of Kithnos is aspiring to turn into a ‘’Smart Island’’ through the development of renewable energy sources; its first Smart Grid project; and infrastructure, tourism and mobility that will preserve the island’s environment and will increase residents' living standards.

As a result, the municipality has taken steps to elaborate a Sustainable Island Mobility Plan promoting sustainable mobility on the island. The Municipality of Kythnos is the first island in the Aegean Sea to install a charging station for electric vehicles: the villages there are notable for their winding streets with steep flights of stone stairs that are essentially car-free.

Unlike many towns and villages in Greece, Trikala is quite flat – a fact that has contributed to the town becoming one of the most bike-friendly in the country. Three bike paths run through the city and bicycles for public use are even provided by the municipality at certain info points.

To see profiles for all the cities in the CIVITAS Forum Network, click here.

Watch Igoumenitsa's winner's video for the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award 2017 here.

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