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Athens Vying to Achieve Global Sustainability Status

Photo credit: Thomas Gravanis, This is Athens

Aiming to improve the standard of living and achieve ambitious sustainability targets, the Athens municipality has joined forces with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) to assess the sustainability status of the Greek capital based on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.

In this direction, Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis met on Lycabettus Hill with GSTC Director for the Mediterranean Ioannis Pappas and executives, who carried out over 70 on-the-spot inspections in neighborhoods, parks, museums and archaeological sites, and municipal services.

Photo credit: Thomas Gravanis, This is Athens

Bakoyannis announced that Athens would table a “green” strategy linked to tourism and the economy in Glasgow during the UN Climate Change Conference in November, adding that the city had “quadrupled” its budget in this direction.

“The certification of Athens as a sustainable tourist destination will offer the city greater dynamic as it will now be able to compete with major European destinations both in terms of quality of life and of destination management,” said the mayor.

He went on to announce upgrade projects in the pipeline including the overhaul of Lycabettus Hill, the National Park, Strefi Hill, and Acadimia Platonos (Platos Academy) as of the Acropolis Hill. He also referred to ongoing initiatives such as the city’s Pocket Parks project and the urban regeneration of the Alexandras Ave and Votanikos.

Photo credit: Thomas Gravanis, This is Athens

Referring to the municipal authority’s recycling efforts, Bakoyannis said he expects by 2022 to have reached a 10 percent level.

In the meantime, as part of the GSTC assessment process, municipal authorities will be able to attend online seminars offering training and certification on issues of sustainability and sustainable tourism.

Athens joined the GSTC as a destination member in late January.

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