A donation of 10,000,000 Euros has been made available by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation to the Municipality of Thessaloniki for the alleviation of the effects of the ongoing financial and social crisis on the city.
The total amount of the donation will be utilized by the Municipality of Thessaloniki for the implementation of selected projects, which can be incorporated within five thematic axes of priorities for interventions in the social and financial life of the city to the benefit of the citizens.
The donation of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation presents the Municipality of Thessaloniki with an additional financing tool for the implementation of projects, either as an alternative source of funding for already planned projects or as a new source of funding, supplementary to the pre-existing budget, which allows for the design and implementation of new projects. The selection of projects is based on two criteria:
- Relief of vulnerable social groups suffering from the ongoing financial and social crisis (axis A)
- Implementation of the policies and vision of the administration of the Municipality and the Mayor, Mr. Yannis Boutaris, for an extroverted Thessaloniki through years of re-establishing the city as a touristic destination, open to innovative cultural and entrepreneurial initiative, accessible to visitors and friendly to the young (axes B – E).
These axes are:
- Street Work: a methodology implemented in order to support the Municipality’s Dormitory for the Homeless by strengthening and expanding its scope and operation (in collaboration with ARSIS – Association for the Social Support of Youth)
- Continuance of the operation of the Municipality’s Open Homeless Day Center (in collaboration with PRAKSIS NGO, supplementary to the funding by the European Social Fund)
- Purchase of two vehicles for the transfer of personnel and beneficiaries of various structures of the Department of Social Protection and Public Health
- Implementation of the “Restart” structure: through providing benefits such as subsidy for apartment rent, wage-earning jobs and acquisition of professional skills, psychosocial support, job counseling, support for the development of business ideas, and the interconnection with social structures and services within the Region of Thessaloniki, the program aims at the reintegration into the social fabric and labor market of individuals or families facing housing problems, heavily impaired income and/or unemployment, which result in them having grave difficulty in fulfilling their everyday life needs (in collaboration with ARSIS – Association for the Social Support of Youth).
- Establishment and operation of the Ok Thess Pre-incubator with the collaboration of: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, University of Macedonia, International University of Greece, Alexander Technological and Educational Institute, Federation of Industries of Northern Greece, Exporters’ Association of Northern Greece, Thessaloniki Innovation Zone (in collaboration with KEPA – Business and Culture Development Centre)
- Equipping and operation of the LAB’attoir Applied Creativity Lab in the old municipal slaughterhouse site for the application of innovative ideas in fields such as design, music, theater, contemporary art, performance, digital media, animation, science, new technologies with the collaboration of: Association for Art Education Atelier 3-103, ArtBox NGO.
- Equipping and operation of the Hellenic Design Centre in order to accelerate the application of planning practices in forming innovation policies at a national and regional level, as well as promote the application of such practices in the nation’s industry and public sector (in collaboration with KEPA – Business and Culture Development Centre)
- Construction and installation of Memory Indicators for the marking of monuments, historical buildings, social and political events and important figures that are linked to the city’s history on signs with bilingual texts, photographs, drawings or gravures (in collaboration with Thessaloniki Convention Bureau), thus concluding a project incorporated in the initiatives for 2012, anniversary year for the celebration of 100 years since the city’s liberation
- The “Visitor Management” project aims at managing and accommodating the rapidly increasing in recent years number of tourists visiting Thessaloniki, both through conventional ways (modern printed material in many languages) as well as with modern, sophisticated tools (electronic promotion and management of cultural and tourism resources). The equipment and operation of Info Kiosks at the Aristotelous Square and the White Tower is expected to upgrade the services provided to visitors and to contribute decisively to the promotion and advertising of Thessaloniki (in collaboration with the Thessaloniki Convention Bureau).
- Digitization of Thessaloniki’s Central Public Library Newspaper Archive: a city’s history and the free access to valid historical records, such as local newspaper records, are basic elements of its cosmopolitan character, as well as a main attraction for visitors of touristic or research interest. The digitization of the city’s newspapers will make this material accessible to a large number of researchers, thus enhancing the development of cultural products and historiography for the city of Thessaloniki (in collaboration with Thessaloniki Convention Bureau).
- Open Schools in the Neighborhood: open access to school yards after the end of the school curriculum will function as a solution to the lack of parks and/or playgrounds in many neighborhoods, and it will re-establish schools as meeting places for the strengthening of the socialization of neighborhood residents by bringing people of different ages closer together and offering opportunities for continuous training to all (in collaboration with Creativity Platform).
- Neighborhood Rooms: rooms set in suitable municipal buildings will form a network of spaces, a platform for starting new businesses as well as new social interconnections. They function as a living library of human knowledge and abilities, where everyone can seek advice and help from their fellow citizens, where everyone is welcome, regardless of age, gender, or physical, family and financial status. It is a network that aspires to harness the whole human capital of the city for the benefit of its citizens (in collaboration with KEPA – Business and Culture Development Centre and PERA NGO).
- “Ianos” Addict Relief Centre: establishment and operation of the “Ianos” Addict Relief Centre in collaboration with the Psychiatric Hospital of Thessaloniki. The center provides daily psychosocial / nursing care and support services, as well as hygiene and nutrition to people (active users) addicted to psychoactive substances, who are not part of a treatment program and face severe daily life problems.
- Reconstruction of three Children’s Playgrounds: as part of the overall upgrade and certification program for the children’s playgrounds of the Municipality of Thessaloniki, the following playgrounds are being reconstructed to meet the applicable certification specifications and legislation:
a) in Makedonomachon Square (1st Municipal Community)
b) in the Park of Nea Elvetia (5th Municipal Community)
c) at the junction of Thermopylon Str. and Nasou Str. (5th Municipal Community)
- Reconstruction of the Phanarioton Square area: reconstruction and upgrading of the Phanarioton Square, Stratigou Kallari Str. and Dimitriou Gounari Str., in accordance with the principles of sustainability, resulting in multiple benefits for the city, as it ensures the designation of monumental axes and the sea front, the improvement of the area’s microclimate, the upgrading of pedestrian and cycle paths (bikeways), and the creation of staging and resting areas. A central idea is the re-integration of the square on the Dimitriou Gounari Str. axis and its two-way connection with the coastal front.
- Secure access to and highlighting of buildings of special interest: a group of projects aiming at establishing secure access to and highlighting of buildings of special interest of our city, namely:
a) Jewish Museum on Ag. Minas Str.
b) Monastirioton Synagogue
c) Yad Lezikaron Synagogue on Vasileos Irakliou Str.
d) Yeni Mosque on Archaeologikou Mouseiou Str.
The aim of the project is the functional and aesthetic restoration of the surrounding areas, the improvement of accessibility, parking management and even removal of vehicles where necessary, as well as the reconstruction of communal areas and the increase of green space where possible.
- Procurement of urban equipment and parking bollards:
as part of the implementation of a comprehensive action plan, which includes reconstructing public spaces, upgrades of road axes, as well as preservation of the city’s urban culture areas and architectural heritage, aiming at upgrading the urban environment, improving living conditions and the general way the city functions.
In order to ensure the functionality of public space, appropriate measures are taken, such as the procurement of modern urban equipment. The installation of this equipment is complementary and supportive to the urban regeneration plan of the Municipality, aiming at more efficient use of public spaces.
The following equipment items are to be installed:
a) automatic rising bollards
b) fixed parking bollards
c) flexible traffic delineators of two types – flexible traffic separators (curbstones)
- Creating a tourist and cultural path:
- Reconstruction of the route from Rotunda to the Mustafa Kemal Residence
- Reconstruction of Kastron Str.
The project is part of the overall plan of the Municipality of Thessaloniki for the creation of a tourist route connecting a series of important monuments of the city. It starts from Rotunda and through Apostolou Pavlou Str. and Kastron Str. ends up in Ano Poli, while restoring, as much as possible, the natural continuity of various archaeological sites, such as the eastern wall, the historical Protestant and Armenian cemeteries, as well as well as the old machine shop of Axilithiotis (Islamabad), which has been declared a city landmark. The monuments of each historical period along the route will be integrated into the overall configuration grid. The main goal of the project is to set visitors on an enjoyable route to an upgraded cultural experience.
- Reconstruction of the route from Rotunda to the Mustafa Kemal Residence
Apostolou Pavlou Str. is to be turned into a pedestrian street in the section from Rotunda Square (from Manolaki Kyriakou Str.) up to Melenikou Str. and into a low traffic road in the section from Melenikou Str. to Kassandrou Str. (Mustafa Kemal Residence). The aim of the reconstruction is the reconfiguration of the largest part of the area as mainly pedestrian. The design proposes homogenous paving, upgrading of the area’s greenery and specific delineation for the use of part of the road for traffic.
- Reconstruction of Kastron Str.
The reconstruction of a section of Kastron Str. and, in particular, the area between the Roman-Byzantine Eastern Wall and the area’s preserved landmarks, namely the old machine shop of Axilithiotis and the Protestant and Armenian Cemeteries. It extends from Olympiados Str. to Kastron Str. reaching the Agios Dimitrios Hospital. The total 6-acre area is characterized as of particular importance due to the multitude and cultural significance of its monuments. Kastron Str. runs parallel to the East Wall of the old citadel and is the main entrance to Ano Poli and the “Eptapyrgio” settlement. The basic aim of the reconstruction is the preservation and highlighting of the local monuments.