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Athens Mayor Calls on Residents to Get Involved, Improve City

Athens Greece

Athens, Greece. Photo: Maria Theofanopoulou

Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis is calling on the city’s residents to actively join upgrade efforts through the new “Adopt Your City” program.

The new initiative aims to involve private and public entities as well as city-dwellers in actions planned for the improvement of life in the capital.

The “Adopt” series has already kicked off with the Adopt-a-Tree program, which invites Athens residents to select a city tree and contribute to its survival by watering it during the summer months.

“It’s very important for all Athenians to be part of the change that they themselves envision for the city, to become part of that change,” Bakoyannis said.

Through the Adopt program residents, businesses, foundations and organizations can also adopt a road, a walkway, a park, a square, a playground, a bench or even an entire neighborhood, taking on the responsibility to care in cooperation with the municipal authorities.

“What we want to highlight is a new collaborative spirit that will bring together citizens, businesses, the public and the private sectors,” said Bakoyannis speaking at a  British-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce event last week.

Athens. Greece Photo © Maria Theofanopoulou

Athens. Greece Photo © Maria Theofanopoulou

Referring to a new model of public policy practice through interaction with business, society, universities, and non-governmental organizations, Bakoyannis said “Athens, our city, is the municipal authority’s responsibility, and the mayor’s, but it is also everyone’s right… it is 50 percent a municipality responsibility, but also 50 percent a responsibility of the public,” he said.

The mayor added that the Adopt program will be carried out through the city’s Athens Partnership initiative, a public-private collaborative platform aiming at implementing urban upgrade programs.

The idea is through the scheme to promote transparency, accountability and flexibility, Bakoyannis said while involving the residents as well as tapping into the creativity and know-how of the private sector.

The mayor went on to invite all stakeholders, individuals, businesses, foundations adding that the city is seeking “modern solutions in areas such as cleanliness, lighting, green spaces, homeless welfare, culture, social solidarity, technologies, sports, and education.

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