About the Competition

Thessaloniki itself never doubted its own Cultural identity and its millennia of existence Historically one of Europe’s oldest and most multiethnic cities, widely considered as the cultural capital of Greece, is truly unique in the sense that it intricately marries its thousands-year-old multicultural heritage and the architectural marvels with the Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and Sephardic Jew history.

With a student-strong population of 150,000, Thessaloniki boasts an under-30s do-it-yourself youth culture-creative movement seen nowhere else in the Southern part of Europe.

The cutting-edge art performances and cinematic avant-garde, recently launched cultural sites and creative projects, Arts and Entertainment hubs all-in-one, numerous monuments, fifteen listed at the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the 5km meandering waterfront, make Thessaloniki a “must-see destination”.

Tourism is one of the world’s biggest and fastest global economic sectors. Responsible for nearly $3.4 billion of daily economic activity and 6-7% of global employment, tourism plays a major role in shaping the physical and economic fabric of cities.

There is a strong connection between tourism and cities because tourism finds its best stage amongst rich cultural products. Only the city can produce such a wealth of culture and experiences in one concentrated place. The beauty of cities is that they are a place where people interact, where ideas knock heads with each other. It is the place where change happens.
The city is a wonderful invention. In fact, the word “city” comes from the Latin word civitas, or civilization. There is no civilization without cities.

Tourism is a very important element in all policies related to urban development, it is not just a strategy to provide a competitive product to meet visitors’ expectations but a way to develop the city itself and provide more and better infrastructures and bring conditions to residents

City of Thessaloniki finds a clear opportunity with this project to continue the discussion on how to connect people, create relationships, develop a smart city that is more competitive, sustainable, accesible and human.