Our vision

How do we as Heraklion Municipality envision a Smart City?

Smartcity is a city that has adopted one initiative in the framework of:

  • Smart Governance
  • Smart Citizens
  • Smart Living
  • Smart Mobility
  • Smart Economy
  • Smart Environment

All of the above constitute the definition “Smart City”.

Information technologies unite and reinforce human networks, companies,Infrastructures, resources and energy by offering smart administrative tools.

Hence Smart City is the city that solves administrative issues by the use of information technologies and communication on the basis of a cooperative procedure.

Thus smart cities ensure a networked society, which enjoys the benefits of intelligent management of city issues. Heraklion as part of the   Smart City framework - The Challenges The city of Heraklion is the capital of the island and the region of Crete and is one of the most exciting and vibrant cities in the Mediterranean region. Its location, at the crossroads of three continents, makes it a historic and strategically important city. Since the birth of the first European civilization of the Minoans, more than 3500 years ago, this region and the innovations of its inhabitants have played a vital role in shaping the economic, social and cultural history of the region. The city is expanding, its influence in the surrounding urban centers is growing significantly, while its importance in the Mediterranean area is now characterized by competing elements. The aim is to develop Heraklion based on the following developmental identities.

• City resilient to a safe living environment in the city.

  • Human-centered structured social policy, with effective social support infrastructures, participatory solidarity networks, strong structures and services for lifelong learning, employment protection.
  • Organized structures for Civil Protection and Security.
  • A city with a strong cultural and tourist identity, a lighthouse of culture, with a strong creative industry, attractive tourist services and products, with a strong contribution to the local economy.
  • Real Intelligent City. The place of innovation, entrepreneurship development, improved quality of life, electronic and participatory governance, energy efficient, with strong environmental protection and sustainable urban mobility. At the same time, citizens must feel that there is a moral contract based on transparency, legality and meritocracy. We encourage citizens to contribute with their proposals, ideas and their voluntary participation in shaping an effective participatory model of local democracyThe challenges that the city will face in the coming years are:
  • Strengthening the Metropolitan Role and the operation of the Municipality, through the promotion of inter-municipal co-operations and Corporate International Relations
  • Local development, based on the cooperation of all actors in the wider region and the exploitation of all its sources
  • Reducing local contradictions and encouraging local societies into a new way of coexistence, with common goals and common interests
  • Creating new infrastructures specifically designed for each area. Non-fragmentary, occasional and misplaced interventions, but hierarchical according to their importance, so that there is a meaningful and complete result
  • Equal treatment of urban and rural problems and equal opportunities for all inhabitants of the Municipality (balanced development of the center-countryside)
  • The most rational economic management, respecting the rules of legality, meritocracy and absolute transparency in the management of the affairs of the Municipality.
  • Ensuring social dignity, equality and equal opportunities for all residents
  • Protecting the health of our citizens, social care and, by extension, social cohesion
  • Ensure support for socially disadvantaged citizens by expanding their social care network to new infrastructure, networking programs and innovative social care and care services
  • Each neighborhood of the Municipality becomes a living social cell
  • Ensure a clean, safe and civilized environment with the aim of protecting the inhabitants and reducing the "energy footprint" of the Municipality through the full implementation of the "Covenant of Mayors" for sustainable development and reduction of energy waste
  • Sustainable management of water resources and "urban water" to reduce consumption and rational use
  • Revitalizing the local economy, production and processing, with important tools using new technologies and innovative actions and partnerships
  • Strengthening and highlighting the historical and cultural stock of the region and creating a modern, local cultural figure
  • Emphasizing the natural and built environment of the inland area of ​​the Municipality and its interconnection with the life of the inhabitants of the city and its tourist visibility and development.
  • Completion of the restoration of the walls and their assignment to the Municipality (for those who do not belong) for use by citizens and visitors
  • Improving the quality of life, addressing the everyday problems and upgrading and landscaping of the city, neighborhoods and villages
  • Ensuring a sustainable and healthy environment for all citizens of Heraklion, which will improve their quality of life
  • Strengthening democratic governance and transparency in the procedures of the Municipality
  • The further use of the brand name that the Municipality of Heraklion has gained in recent years as "Smart Municipality" with corresponding international awards and concerns the development and integration of new technologies in e-government and citizen service
  • The acquisition of a "multicultural and tourist European identity", as appropriate in the southernmost European Union, by developing thematic tourism (scientific, cultural, medical, nature, etc.)

Careful examples of cities, especially in Europe and around the world, will be studied carefully and are driving cities in the effort to build and exploit the "Smart City"

Era of Economic Stability In the current era of economic austerity, traditional solutions and processes that until recently have produced results are no longer sufficient to address the problems and maintain the quality of life. Today, innovation and smart processes and solutions are still needed. For this reason, Heraklion continues the vanguard tradition by developing a strategy to become more competitive at national, Mediterranean and European level. Heraklion's ranking in the 21 smarter cities of the world for 2012, 2013 and 2014 according to the Intelligent Community Forum demonstrates his willingness to cope with the current difficult economic situation by choosing to identify his identity. The Vision of the Smart City in a time of economic austerity is of increasing social importance to the extent that it contributes to strengthening social cohesion for all members of the society of Heraklion. Social cohesion in a smart city means:

• Covering the needs of the "smart city" for the largest possible part of the city's inhabitants (balanced investments - changes, balancing inequalities in accessibility, etc.). Emphasis on people with limited mobility and accessibility to services (elderly, children, people with disabilities, etc.)

• The upgrading of public and social structures is aimed at serving all residents regardless of economic order, spatial and social origin, place of residence and accessibility to services. The aim is to upgrade the quality of life with horizontal application to the citizens.

• Participation in shaping the development path of the city involves all citizens (development of consultation, participation, etc.).

• Innovations / new areas of research include and relate the social dimension of the desired outcomes to a wide range of social groups and societies.

• Rational resource allocation: A smart city uses information as a basic principle of planning, organizing and servicing the functions it is required to perform. Comparing, compiling, and analyzing information with reference to space can highlight the patterns of occurrence and change of phenomena over time, facilitate the identification of shortcomings and weaknesses, and thus direct the rational commitment of resources (human and financial).

Importance of Education and Research Education and research is important for the development of an innovative urban environment. The University of Crete in Heraklion was founded in 1973. A TEI of Crete and the Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH), which has become one of the largest technology research centers in Greece and is internationally recognized as an excellent research center, was established a decade later. FORTH, in turn, became a catalyst for the establishment of Forthnet SA in the 1990s, the first Greek Internet Service Provider and a successful spin-off subsidiary, now one of the largest telecommunications groups in Greece. The city's actors are working together harmoniously, but this effort must be stepped up by acquiring a more permanent character through specialized partnerships based on the needs of the local community. Emphasizing the comparative advantages of the city as described in the business plan of the Municipality of Heraklion, it is necessary to highlight the comparative advantages of the city for effective competitiveness with other cities in the country, the Mediterranean and Europe. Heraklion has many qualifications that are unique and can attract tourism and investment in many areas.

Specifically, the challenges here are: • For tourism, culture, sport and volunteering:

  • The promotion of monuments, the upgrading of sites of historical interest, the creation of infrastructures of modern civilization
  • Diversification of the tourist product in areas where Heraklion can develop comparative advantages. For example, the promotion of alternative forms of tourism can lead to the wider public's promotion and promotion activities.
  • Upgrading the entrance gates. The upgrading of entry gates can play an important role in facilitating the planning of tourist experience and more generally in providing a better sense to the visitor from the first moment of entry into Heraklion.
  • The development of alternative forms of tourism
  • The operation and actions of municipal sports centers and structures
  • The improvement and upgrading of sports infrastructure
  • Voluntary actions on everyday issues
  • The actions to promote and promote Heraklion as a Tourist and Cultural Destination
  • The production of Heraclion Tourism and Cultural Identity and Tourism products and products
  • Organizing events to enhance the Tourism and Cultural Identity
  • For local entrepreneurship
  • Promotion of actions and collaborations with Social Cooperative Enterprises
  • Promoting new technologies and innovative actions to support entrepreneurship
  • For Information and Communication Technologies
  • Development of e-services and digital content for the continued integration of ICT
  • Development of Information and Communication Technology infrastructures
  • Actions to enhance the use of open standards and free open source software, open source software
  • Utilization of ICT in the Tourism and Culture sectors with targeted actions and integrated solutions for promotion, information and exploitation
  • Upgrading of the tourist services provided using ICT. In particular, with regard to ICT technologies, these can contribute to providing the strategic advantage but also to better exploit the tourist wealth through decentralization and better use of alternative forms of tourism and remote areas.

Encouraging Participation One of the key challenges for Heraklion is to encourage the citizen, the businessman and the players of the city to participate in the life of the city. The Municipality already has a Municipal Committee of Consultations as well as thematic committees such as the Smart City Committee, the Tourism Committee, etc. Which encourage participatory planning at the institutional level. At the same time, the Municipality encourages the participation of citizens through the Volunteer Networks that already have a strong presence in the city life, as well as the encouragement of independent interventions of groups of citizens such as the actions in the area of ​​Lakkos.

Heraklion In The Frames of Smart City - The Goals Intelligent City Strategy Development As Intelligent City, Heraklion has struggled to capitalize on these first successes, as it has been shown that Heraklion and Heraklion have the ability to innovate and improve their city. This is the reason that for many years the city of Heraklion has developed a smart city strategy to become more competitive at national, Mediterranean and European level. This strategy is based on some key pillars of competitiveness including: • the specialization of the economy and the workforce,

• the establishment of strategic objectives and their collective management,

• cooperation with educational institutions and FORTH

• the quality of life of the urban environment,

• the existence of strong transport and telecommunications infrastructures.

In 2008, the Mayor of Heraklion and 14 other Mayors of Crete and the Aegean Islands signed the "Charter of Obligations of Municipal Authorities towards Citizens in the Knowledge Society". This map contains six major policies that have led our steps in the years to come.

I: Obligation to provide free Internet access and security of personal data. II: Obligation to provide digital services and content. III: Obligation to adopt open standards. IV: Obligation to adopt green ICT policies. V: Obligation to facilitate, in a digital manner, participation. VI: Obligation for training in the use of new technologies

In March 2011, the Municipality of Heraklion signed the Mayors' Pact, which is an ambitious initiative to involve local authorities and citizens in reducing energy consumption, saving resources and upgrading the quality of life of citizens. This European Commission's main objective is to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 20% by 2020. For this purpose, the Sustainable Energy Action Plan was developed as a tool for identifying and certifying the energy policy of the Municipality and its intention to achieve the above objective. The participation of the Municipality of Heraklion following the proposal of the Energy Center of the Region of Crete for the Govenant Capacity project, co-funded by the Europe - Intelligent Energy Program, is an important part of the training of the SDAE and aims to support the development of Action Plans On Sustainable Energy in Europe. Specialized Economy In recent years, institutional players in the city, as well as public and private organizations have worked together more closely to promote and capitalize on the benefits of the city. Heraklion has an economy with comparative advantages in the agro-food sector and tourism. Emerging sectors of the economy are the Environment / Energy and innovation / new technologies sectors

There is also an extremely skilled workforce to support this economy. Based on these specializations, a strategy has been developed to promote and support these benefits, which embraces the concept of "smart city".

How Smart City Works As mentioned above, traditional solutions to the challenges facing cities today are no longer sufficient. A fundamental change is needed in the way the city is perceived and functioning. The traditional mode of operation for a city has been based on services that function as independent and unrelated entities that are often designed to function, not citizens' needs. As a result: • Every citizen or business must interact with each service individually, creating multiple points of contact rather than a point that is tailored to meet their needs. • Data and information are usually locked in each service, limiting the potential for cooperation and innovation as well as speeding up reforms across the city Smart cities need to develop new models of operation that lead to innovation and cooperation between these independent agencies.

This is illustrated in the following figure describing the operation of a refreshed strategic plan of a smart city.

1. Vision

2. Collective management of the vision

3. Road Map of Works

4. City Branding

The central axes of policy for the vision of "Heraklion, a smart city" There are several international standards for the smart city and various approaches to the main axes governing the smart city. With the experience he has gained in recent years and in accordance with the strengths and capabilities of the city, Heraklion has chosen the following main axes with which it defines and aligns its "intelligent" activity: In this context, we are making a ten-year strategy • 1st milestone 2020 • 2nd landmark 2025 • Targets are constantly being revised on the basis of new social needs and technological developments which in our time are rapid. • The strategic plan is advisory rather than restrictive • the competent municipal office and the Smart City Committee direct and evaluate the completion of the individual actions while creating the conditions for revising the strategic plan.