The European Commission's Directorate General for Regional Policy and Urban Development, in collaboration with the Greek Ministry of Economy and Development, and in particular the Special Service for Strategy, Planning and Evaluation (EYSSA), has organized in Athens its third peer review workshop during June (1 & 2 June 2017), in order to discuss on the Sustainable Urban Development Strategies (SUD) of the Greek Operational Programs 2014-2020.
The workshop was organized within the framework of the Urban Development Network, which has as a main objective the exchange of experience between urban authorities responsible for sustainable urban development strategies in accordance with Article 7 of EU Regulation 1301/2013 for the ERDF. On the 1st and 2nd of June the Sustainable Urban Development Strategies of the Municipalities of Heraklion and Kavala were presented and discussed with the participation of representatives of Greek and Cypriot Municipal Authorities under Article 7, representatives of the National Coordination Authority for the PA, representatives of the Managing Authorities of Regional Operational Programs and representatives of the Ministry for Environment and Energy, about 80 people in total.
The workshop was initiated by Ms. Logotheti, President of the Athens Development and Tourist Promotion Company and the Mayor's Office Director, and on behalf of the Ministry of Economy and Development Mr. Firbas, General Director of the National Coordination Authority for the PA 2014-2020.
After that the representatives of the European Commission and in particular the Directorate General for Regional Policy and Urban Development, Mr. Ammonteo and Mr. Zorbala, presented the urban dimension of Cohesion Policy, and consequently Mr. Balantinakis on behalf of the Managing Authority of the Regional Operational Program of Crete and Mr. Koudoumakis on behalf of the Managing Authority of the Regional Operational Program of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, presented their Strategies for Sustainable Urban Development for the programming period 2014-2020.
Subsequently Mr. Karadimitriou, an expert in urban development, in cooperation with Mr. Economou, Professor in the Urban Planning and Regional Development Department of the University of Thessaly, coordinated a site visit that took place on the Athens seafront, where its development challenges and prospects were examined through an open discussion.
During the second day of the peer review workshop, parallel sessions were held on the Sustainable Urban Development Strategies approved for the cities of Heraklion and Kavala, where the representatives presented their strategies and then participated together with the rest of the participants to round table discussions.
The great interest the participants showed during the workshop was remarkable. Their dynamic participation as well as the constructive discussions led to important conclusions, which were presented in the final plenary session by Ms. Yannakou, Associate Professor of the Department of Planning and Development of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Mr. Economou and Mr. Karadimitriou. The workshop was completed with the presentation of the URBACT III Program by Ms. Zarkopoulou, representative of the National URBACT Point for Greece and Cyprus. URBACT is the networking program dedicated to European cities aiming to reinforce city-to-city cooperation, networking and an integrated approach to sustainable urban development. A European program where two Greek cities (Piraeus and Heraklion), and two Cypriot (Limassol and Athienou) were selected amongst almost 300 applications and highlighted as URBACT Good Practices within the framework of the relevant call for the URBACT III Good city Practices.
Special Service for Strategy, Planning and Evaluation
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