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Eurocities Awards: Athens’ Citizens Platform ‘SynAthina’ Wins for Innovation


logo_euroeuSynAthina, Athens’ public platform for engaging citizens, was honored with the award for innovation in this year’s Eurocities awards on the theme of the sharing economy, at a ceremony in Milan on Thursday, November 17, during the Eurocities 2016 Milan conference.

The Eurocities awards recognise outstanding achievement by Eurocities members in the delivery of local activities or practices which improve the quality of life for citizens and are judged in the context of the theme of the annual conference.

The winners of this year’s Eurocities awards were honored in three permanent categories — cooperation, innovation and participation — linked to the theme of the annual conference, which this year was “sharing cities”, looking at the impact of the sharing economy on cities.

Photo source: SynAthina

Photo source: SynAthina

Launched by the Municipality of Athens, SynAthina enables citizens to put forward ideas and projects to improve the local community, and the city council uses the input to adapt and update outdated rules and regulations.

The Eurocities award for innovation was received by Deputy Mayor for Civil Society and Innovation Amalia Zepou and the head of SynAthina, Haris Biskos.

Eurocities is the network of major European cities that brings together the local governments of over 130 of Europe’s largest cities and 40 partner cities, that between them govern 130 million citizens across 35 countries.

SynAthina was presented with the following video:

synathina1How does a city in crisis regain the trust of its citizens? How can they be part of the solution? SynAthina, a digital platform in Athens, aims to collect ideas from citizens of how to improve their city. Launched as a pilot project in 2013 in response to the economic crisis in Greece, the platform enables direct dialogue between the city administration and its citizens. Citizens and community groups can submit their ideas and be put directly in touch with the relevant people in the administration. Where necessary, the SynAthina team will look at updating regulations and procedures to facilitate innovative projects, and the input can be used by the municipality to shape its priorities. The platform has already facilitated nearly 2,000 activities from 222 community groups.

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