Situated in the heart of the Thermaic Gulf, Thessaloniki is home to a population of over one million people and is surrounded by 14 municipalities.
In 2014, during a period of economic uncertainty, Thessaloniki implemented its metropolitan Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP). Six years on, the Transport Authority is trying to view the pandemic as an opportunity to encourage the use of sustainable transport.
In the context of the pandemic, the city has introduced temporary bike lanes, which it aims to make permanent. The city also plans to decarbonise its public transport system, with the National Ministry of Transport supporting Thessaloniki to bring 300 clean buses to the city over the next four years. Thessaloniki is also encouraging multimodality, by aiming to integrate its bus and metro networks.
Thessaloniki provides a great example of a city aiming to use its response to the pandemic to keep its residents healthy, whilst also enhancing the sustainability of its transport system.