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Trikala, Greece’s First Digital City
By Eleni Natsi  |  Feb 23, 2022
Trikala, Greece’s First Digital City
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Trikala houses 81,000 inhabitants in Greece’s agricultural heartland and at first glance would appear to be an unlikely candidate for a leading smart city. But the city, located in the Thessaly plains of central Greece, continues to evolve into one of the world’s top smart cities.

ATHENS - Back in 2014, when Dimitris Papastergiou became mayor, he and his team had grand, tech-savvy plans for their homeland, birthplace of the ancient Greek healing god Asclepius. At the time, Greece was in the grips of a financial crisis, and there was no budget, so the plan was to work hard toward this ambitious goal.

Left to right: Harry Kalliaras, advisor to the Mayor of Trikala in Strategic and Business Planning, George Lioulas, resident of the GiSeMi Innovation & Entrepreneurship Hub and developer of smart services in Trikala, and Odisseas Raptis, CEO of e-Trikala S.A.

Through collaborations with key partners, including the European Commission (EC) and private companies, and its participation in projects funded by the European Union (EU), Trikala has earned a reputation for innovation in Greece and worldwide.

Named ‘Greece’s First Digital City’ by the nation’s Ministry of Economics in 2004, Trikala was also shortlisted as one of the top 21 smart cities in the world for three consecutive years.[1]

Michail Bletsas (left), Director of Computing and Research Scientist at MIT Media Lab, and Dimitris Papastergiou (right), Mayor of Trikala and president of the Central Union of Greek Municipalities during their visit to the Mill of the Elves, the largest Christmas theme park with free admission in Greece.

Living Smart 

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Digitalization is a target for the majority of cities in the future. Trikala is a great example; they transformed an ancient town into a digital hub. The visions and ambitions of the city's organizer are visible, and Eleni's story adds a new meaning to its vivid history.